The Hermit is the ninth card of the Major Arcana. The number 9 is remarkable because it is the first odd number that is divisible by a number other than itself. In this sense, the card is both active and receptive, both a beginning and an end.
In the Rider Waite deck introduced in 1910, the illustration on the card shows an old bearded man standing alone on the peak of a snowy mountain. He’s dressed in a grey cloak, holding a yellow staff and a lit lantern.
After traveling over a great distance with the help of his walking stick, which symbolizes inner power, authority, and intelligence, he has reached a heightened state of awareness far away from the trifles of the mundane world. He now pauses for a moment to rest and gaze at the world below.
The source of light in the lamp is the Star of David, the guiding light of wisdom also known as the Seal of Solomon. Legend has it that King Solomon received a golden ring with this symbol directly from heaven, which gave him the power to speak with animals and command spirits, evil and good alike.
The Hermit has abandoned the state of beauty, flawless expression, and power that is characteristic of Strength, the previous card in the series. He is slowly walking backward to the Wheel of Fortune, into a new cycle of changes and the intricate mystery of human existence. He is letting go of his connection with the old world to accept an unknown future.
Because he has arrived at the end of his path, it is impossible for him to move forward. All he can do is retreat, shed light on the path he has already traveled, and illuminate the darkness within. His mantra could be “Know thyself” or “Seek and you shall find.”
While some might say that he is on a journey, it is obvious that he has reached his destination and no one knows if he will ever return. From his home at the top of the world, he opens the doors of awakening and lights the way for those who shall follow him.
A spiritual guide, detached from matter and desire, his task is complete. The Hermit is the lonely soul of the mountain who waits for someone else to come to him, receive his knowledge, and continue his work. He has helped himself and now waits for God’s help.
Throughout this detailed post, we shall explore the symbolism of the Hermit and examine the various interpretations of the card in different readings.
Table of Contents
- 1 What does the Hermit Tarot Card mean?
- 2 The Hermit Tarot Card Upright
- 3 The Hermit Keywords Upright
- 4 What does the Hermit Tarot Card mean Reversed?
- 5 The Hermit Reversed Keywords
- 6 The Hermit Tarot as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
- 7 The Hermit Reversed as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
- 8 What does the Hermit Tarot Card mean in Love?
- 9 What does the Hermit Reversed mean in Love?
- 10 What does the Hermit Tarot Card mean in Friendship?
- 11 What does the Hermit Reversed mean in Friendship?
- 12 The Hermit Tarot Card in a Career Reading
- 13 The Hermit Reversed in a Career Reading
- 14 What does the Hermit Tarot Card mean in Conflict?
- 15 What does the Hermit Tarot Card In Reverse mean in Conflict?
- 16 The Hermit Tarot Card as How Someone Thinks of You
- 17 The Hermit Reversed as How Someone Thinks of You
- 18 The Hermit Tarot Card as Feelings
- 19 The Hermit Reversed as Feelings
- 20 The Hermit Tarot Card as a Situation
- 21 The Hermit Reversed as a Situation
- 22 The Hermit Tarot Card as Intentions / What Someone Wants
- 23 The Hermit Reversed as Intentions / What Someone Wants
- 24 Is the Hermit Tarot Card a Yes or No?
- 25 The Hermit Tarot Card as a Place
- 26 The Hermit Reversed as a Place
- 27 The Hermit Tarot Card as an Obstacle / Challenge
- 28 The Hermit Reversed as an Obstacle / Challenge
- 29 The Hermit Tarot Card as Action
- 30 The Hermit Reversed as Action
- 31 The Hermit Tarot Card as Advice
- 32 The Hermit Reversed as Advice
- 33 The Hermit Tarot Card as an Outcome
- 34 The Hermit Reversed as an Outcome
- 35 The Hermit Tarot Card in the Future
- 36 The Hermit Reversed in the Future
- 37 The Hermit Tarot Card as a Person
- 38 The Hermit Reversed as a Person
- 39 What Zodiac Sign is the Hermit?
- 40 Free Online Tarot Reading
- 41 Related Articles
- 42 Major Arcana Cards Complete Guides
- 43 Shop For My Favorite Items on Amazon…
What does the Hermit Tarot Card mean?
The Hermit symbolizes introspection, inner guidance, and self-awareness. He represents a wise and mature individual with a vast knowledge of the world, a solitary spiritual master who has found the light of consciousness and can now pass it on to a chosen few.
The Hermit has learned to be patient, so he’s slowly walking in silence and solitude. His lantern lights only a few steps on the path he has already traveled, but this faint light is enough for him to find his way in the dark. He’s moving backward, blindly trusting the world with an unbreakable faith.
This card speaks of a unique, personal quest for truth and wisdom. It represents a person who, after finding the answers at the end of the road, realizes that his search has only just begun. He might be a mentor who waits for his student to arrive so he can be of use to the world, lest his journey is in vain and his story forgotten.
When the Hermit appears in your reading, it is a sign that you are ready to discover who you are by withdrawing from the stress and complexity of every-day life and finding your calm and concentrated center.
Don’t abandon society completely, but listen only to the people you regard as wise and prudent. Even then, don’t let words define you. Although they can be a source of inspiration, no words can describe the sublime, infinite mystery that the Hermit hides in his lantern.
The Hermit Tarot Card Upright
The Hermit in an upright position is a wonderful card to receive. However, the card implies that you will have to walk a lonely road and confront a change that cannot be avoided.
The Hermit calls on you to enter the deeper reality and tune in to your inner guiding light. You will only find the answers and the truth you are searching for if you look within your soul. Take a step back, examine the past, and accept the uncertainty of the future.
A dark and unknown road beckons to the Hermit. He must retrace his steps in the past to reevaluate his choices, learn from the mistakes, and cherish the memories that will keep him company and give him strength in solitude.
This card might be a sign that it is high time to find your true path in life by searching within yourself. It might also refer to another person, a guide who can offer insight and words of wisdom that will help you.
The Hermit is about entering a crisis, the dark space where you will prepare for spiritual transformation and find the key that will free you from all bonds. It is up to you to rise above pessimism, mentally and spiritually, and hold firm to your truth as a beacon to guide you through this passage.
The ancient man watches from the top of his mountain, indifferent to the fate of civilization, knowing that existence is a never-ending cycle. History repeats itself, and that is the only fundamental law that stays the same.
An important lesson you can learn from the Hermit is to embrace the profound change that defines every aspect of humanity, the impermanence of life. The body ages, people come and go, empires rise and fall…
Kings, fools, and ordinary people rejoice and suffer all the same. The wise man is content because he has discovered that serenity and true knowledge can only be found within yourself and not in the external world.
The Hermit Keywords Upright
- Old Age
- Walking Backwards
- Secret Knowledge
- Inner Guidance
What does the Hermit Tarot Card mean Reversed?
Should the Hermit appear reversed in a reading, he denotes isolation, depression, and feeling like you have lost your way.
The Hermit, in reverse, symbolizes the dark night of the soul, a spiritual crisis where the seeker might feel they don’t know who they are anymore. You may have forgotten to listen to your inner voice, lost your way, and neglected the importance of friends and society.
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When reversed, the Hermit is absorbed in himself. The light is consumed in a desperate attempt to ward off the darkness, blinding the seeker instead of illuminating the way. We all go through tough times in our lives. This card is a warning of such a trial, where you will have to make the necessary changes or wander alone inside a maze of your own making.
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In some cases, the Hermit denotes the absence of a father figure, requiring the aid of others to move on, or failing to interpret the images of the unconscious mind.
It might also denote spiritual pride, an obsession with reaching the truth and finding enlightenment. Trapped in an imaginary world, the reversed Hermit loses sight of what’s real, along with the connection to his fellow human beings.
An outcast, a doomsayer, an alcoholic; there are so many ways to distance yourself from the joy of life and snuff out the pure light of consciousness. If this resonates with you or someone you care about, then heed this warning, seek help, and return to the warmth of society.
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The time of martyrs and prophets is long gone. Listen to the needs of the body, search for a different path, and find your balance in this turmoil.
The Hermit Reversed Keywords
- Dark Night of the Soul
The Hermit Tarot as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
The Hermit is a marvelous card to get when asking how someone else sees you.
When upright, the Hermit is seen as a prudent, mature individual who radiates calmness and wisdom. A lonely soul, who nonetheless enjoys the company of others, he can inspire and guide people to find their unique path.
The person of interest sees you as a light of hope that shines bright even in dark times. You seem to have tremendous knowledge of how the world works, and your advice is always to the point.
At times, you may seem distant to them, but they know how you appreciate the quiet of solitude and that sooner or later, you will return from your seclusion. You create the impression of someone who knows what they’re doing and what they’re talking about, a complete person who needs and lacks nothing.
Furthermore, they might see a guide in you, a mentor who has found pieces of the universal truth and can help them discover who they are. With your bright mind and your experience, you are a delight to be around.
The Hermit Reversed as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
While the negative traits of the Hermit might appear in an upright position and vice versa, it is important to examine each card from every possible angle.
The Hermit reversed is seen as a bitter and cold loner. He might take pride in himself, believing his truth superior to the opinions of common people. Or, he might appear absorbed in negative feelings, refusing to step out of isolation and a false sense of independence.
The person of interest could be seeing you as dismissive of others and too focused on yourself. You may be hiding your true identity and feelings beneath layers of obscurity and gloom, avoiding other people because you don’t want them to get too close.
The wisdom and experience of the upright Hermit are lost if they are not conveyed to others. A tale needs to be told, and a truth that stays concealed forever loses its value and becomes a bitter secret.
Furthermore, no matter how hard you try to hide your sadness, it will always find its way to the surface. A reversed Hermit dwells in the twilight of hopelessness, appearing as a paralyzed shell of a man.
If you face these dark feelings, they can turn into a flame that will disperse the shadow and light your way.
What does the Hermit Tarot Card mean in Love?
The Hermit is not the best card to receive in a love reading. However, there are some positive ways to interpret it.
In a love reading, the Hermit indicates that you might need some time alone, or in case you are single, that you feel somewhat lonely, although it doesn’t bother you. The card might symbolize celibacy, a pause to find your balance, and seclusion to heal from heartbreak.
If you are in a relationship, it might be time to focus on yourself so you can reevaluate your needs, fears, and insecurities. Devoting yourself to a partner with all your soul can be tiresome and can often warp your personality.
Blindly falling in love can make a fool out of a wise man. Some quality alone-time may help you to look at your love life from a fresh perspective and shed some light on any problems you might have.
The Hermit can bring calmness, balance, and quiet to a relationship. Sometimes unnecessary words can only do harm, while a moment of honest eye-contact and graceful silence can mean the world to both of you.
Just remember to respect each other’s requests for privacy and space, as well as the need for connection and intimacy. Don’t lose yourself trying to fulfill all your partner’s wishes. Even so, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t abandon them when they need you.
If you are single, the card is a sign that you are just fine like that. You might have experienced heartbreak in the past, and seclusion might be the only way to heal successfully.
However, you might be unconsciously looking for a partner or wishing you had someone by your side. Even the strongest minds cannot extinguish desire completely; it is only human.
What does the Hermit Reversed mean in Love?
The Hermit, in reverse, is not a very positive card for a love reading. It denotes emotional distance and a cold, withdrawing behavior.
When the Hermit appears reversed in a love reading, it denotes rejection and abandonment. If you are in a relationship, you may be drifting away from each other because there is a lack of balance, self-awareness, and warmth. If single, you need to face the reasons for your isolation and reconnect with people.
Believing that you need no one else in your life is not healthy independence; it is a trauma response, a selfish attempt to run away from intimacy and exposure.
While spending some time alone is certainly good for discovering who you are, systematically avoiding others and thinking that you are stronger on your own is a defense mechanism to deal with traumatic experiences. It can lead only to more confusion and loneliness.
Likewise, severe attachment fosters co-dependency, which in turn repels most people who tend to run away when things get serious. Love draws you in and blinds you, like moths to the flame, and without a mature approach it is only a matter of time before trouble starts, and the balance is lost.
The reversed Hermit calls on you to look both within yourself and around you and face the truth.
Do you keep creating problems when you should be rejoicing? Is your partner giving you the cold shoulder? Do you resent being alone? Is one of you withdrawing while the other is trying to hold on?
Of course, you might want to consider the possibility that a distant lover is just not that interested anymore…
The only advice here is to find your calm center and accept what is going on. Every person walks on a unique path. We all must walk alone to find our place in the world, as long as we remember that a life worth living is a life shared with other people.
What does the Hermit Tarot Card mean in Friendship?
The Hermit is a true friend who never betrays.
The Hermit as a friend is that one person whom you blindly trust and always listen to their advice. They might sometimes appear distant or even harsh to you; only because they are trying to demonstrate that they cannot solve your problems for you.
In a friendship reading, the Hermit card is one of mutual help, support, and understanding. It represents a trustworthy person who will offer valuable advice. However, because they have found their balance all by themselves, they expect you to do the same, knowing that they can only help you to the threshold; each human being walks on a unique path and how you proceed in life is your own riddle to solve!
What does the Hermit Reversed mean in Friendship?
In reverse, the Hermit might have a few possible meanings for your friendship.
If the Hermit appears reversed in a friendship reading, it might refer to a close friend in need of support. You could check in with them to see if they are alright, although they surely have to figure things out on their own. It might also be a sign that you feel lonely and want to reconnect with your friends.
The reversed Hermit is all about loneliness and seclusion. When describing the current state between you and your friends, it most likely means that it’s time to give them a call! It might also indicate that someone you care about is going through a tough time and would benefit from some genuine communication, a reassurance that they are not alone in this world.
The Hermit Tarot Card in a Career Reading
The Hermit, who does not pursue material wealth, is a dubious card financial-wise. It may represent scholars, teachers, scientists, philosophers, and the like. Of course, we could always presume that he is a shepherd!
In a career reading, the Hermit card is about finding purpose in your work. You might be wondering about your next steps and looking for fulfillment in your career, as money is probably not your number one priority. It might be a sign to be careful about how you spend your money.
The Hermit has knowledge and devotion, but he lacks the enthusiasm and potential of the Magician. That is why he walks alone at a slow pace, contemplating the importance and quality of his work. It’s not a bad card when it shows up in career reading; it nonetheless implies fragile stability that you will have to maintain.
Apart from finding meaning and purpose in what you do to earn your keep, the Hermit’s advice would be to be mindful of your expenses. You wouldn’t want to suddenly end up broke with winter just around the corner!
The Hermit Reversed in a Career Reading
When reversed, the Hermit in a career reading may indicate the following.
The Hermit, in reverse, denotes working alone. Apart from that, the card may be a sign that you are too focused on your career, neglecting other important aspects of your life. In extreme cases, it might represent beggars, poverty, and unemployment.
The card might indicate jobs that require you to work alone, possibly at home. It might otherwise be a warning that your attention is rigidly fixed solely on the working process so that everything is somehow turning into a task. Don’t work yourself to exhaustion; you might need a break or a fresh perspective.
Furthermore, the Hermit reversed can easily be seen as a beggar on the streets, an unfortunate soul who depends on the kindness of strangers to get by each day. Hence, it can also represent unemployment or destitution.
What does the Hermit Tarot Card mean in Conflict?
Regarding a conflict of any nature, the Hermit would advise you to withdraw, to be calm and patient, but not idle. Think this through, say what you need to say, and don’t complicate the matter. The Hermit figure is not the avoidant type, but he won’t struggle to prove a point or win an argument.
The Hermit card upright promotes a certain kind of disinterest in conflicts. It’s not about being indifferent, but rather avoiding unnecessary fights and emotional upheavals. Sometimes to solve a conflict, all we have to do is listen and then take our leave. If it still bugs you, then you can think carefully on your own and decide what to do about it.
In case you’re right, what is the point in making the other side admit it? And if you’re wrong, then you can only solve this by yourself. Who is there to argue with, then? No one! By doing that, you just dodged either a good-for-nothing quarrel or a potential vain attempt at one-upmanship. And you’ve just earned your peace of mind.
That does not apply, of course, for very important issues that must be addressed at once. But even then, if you quiet your mind, examine the situation, and regard it as not that important, the resolution will appear naturally, without effort.
Why waste your time arguing for trivial matters? After all, even if the conflict involves dear friends or family, exaggerated emotions might make anyone say things they will later regret. The Hermit has the guise of a wise man for good reason, and every word he speaks is precisely what must be said; no more, no less.
And when all else fails, remember that kindness can go a long way, and that you can even be strict and condescending if needed, but always with a kind, honest, and respectful attitude. Wisdom is implied, and yet direct, like pointing at the sphere in the night sky. The Hermit looks back at the beginning of this journey and says look, fool! Just look!
What does the Hermit Tarot Card In Reverse mean in Conflict?
The Hermit in reverse describes an inner conflict, one that can only be resolved by examining your past choices and confronting your thoughts and feelings. Regardless of external events, you have to see the bigger picture, and go through a phase of change and introspection, letting go of stubbornness and delusions.
There is no greater peril in a spiritual journey than that of deluding oneself. The Hermit’s lantern can light up your path, but it could also blind you with self-conflicting thoughts that prevent progress, illumination, and serenity.
So, with the reversed Hermit card in a reading about a conflict, the hidden “enemy” might very well be your own thoughts! This can build tension and affect your relationships. Have you ever had an argument in your mind, perhaps talking to someone as if they were in front of you, trying to prove your own right? Well, if that person is not actually there, who are you arguing with other than yourself?
This can turn into a vicious, never-ending feedback loop of thought and worry, far from the normal and quiet state of mind essential for tranquility. If you want to solve your differences with others, how could you do it when you cannot solve the turmoil within first and foremost?
The Dalai Lama said that if a problem is fixable and you can do something about it, there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, there is no help in worrying and arguing whatsoever.
The Hermit Tarot Card as How Someone Thinks of You
When the Hermit card describes how someone thinks of you, they think you are wise and self-aware.
The Hermit is someone who is in alignment with their true Higher Self. You are thought of as a wise, benevolent person who is perfectly aware of their weaknesses and strengths.
They think of you as someone with valuable life-experiences and deep knowledge. Your advice sheds light upon their problems, and they probably hold you in the highest regard.
A sage, a seer, a spiritual guide who helps others find their way or just a very good friend who is an old soul and wise beyond your years.
You are not afraid to venture into the darkness and more than capable to return and tell the tale. Furthermore, you can let go of pride when you need help and rise above selfishness to see what’s truly important from an objective point of view.
The Hermit Reversed as How Someone Thinks of You
If the Hermit appears in a reversed position to answer your question about how someone thinks of you, it means they think you lack balance and self-awareness.
In reverse, the Hermit is thought of as a desolate, careless, and shy person who clings to the past. You might be isolating yourself, turning your back on the present moment, and searching for truth with such a fixation that you forget to pause and appreciate life as it is.
The Hermit, in reverse, denotes a lack of sensibility and prudence that are so characteristic of the card in its upright position.
Perhaps you are thought of as someone who is endlessly searching for abstract answers that make no difference at all and only restrict your point of view by complicating what is simple.
You might also be considered careless because you ignore all the warning signs and get involved in situations in which you have no control.
Bashful and self-absorbed, a reversed Hermit needs to align with their inner self and accept that everything changes in time.
The Hermit Tarot Card as Feelings
The Hermit may hide his feelings and withdraw to contemplate their importance and how they affect his life.
As a card that describes emotions, the Hermit denotes trying to discover how you feel about a person or a situation on your own, without the influence of others’ opinions. It also denotes feeling alone and isolated without, however, feeling bad about it.
The Hermit is content in solitude. Sadness can turn into sweet remembrance, joy into motivation, pain into a reason to find strength and move on. This apparent detachment can allow the seeker to be carefree and independent, although it might confuse friends and family.
By withdrawing from people and circumstances that are charged with strong emotions, the Hermit not only avoids stress and anxiety, but he can also find the clarity to define how he truly feels and who he is in relation to others.
Most importantly, by not being obliged to feel a certain way that would satisfy another person’s demands, he can approach his Higher Self and look for his unique path away from outside influences.
As a card of introspection, the Hermit is a reminder that emotions originate and belong to the inner self. No one else can know exactly how you feel or tell you what to feel.
It is your own personal world within, and sometimes we all have to step back from what overwhelms and affects our behavior and seek the reasons why. Your feelings can then become your guiding light and your foothold.
The Hermit Reversed as Feelings
The reversed Hermit is not the best card to receive regarding your emotional state.
In reverse, the Hermit indicates depression, severe loneliness, or avoiding feelings. Left alone in the dark, he clings to what is now lost and absent, refusing to let go. Without hope, he is falling through an unknown world that he cannot understand.
The mild interpretation of the reversed Hermit is indifferent to emotions, your own, or those of other people. Dismissing feelings as unimportant or immature, the seeker might be turning a blind eye to what is going on inside, retreating to ambivalence, and the numbing cold of isolation.
However, it is more likely that the card indicates feelings of extreme sadness and loss. Having lost the guiding light, the Hermit revisits the past, desperately longing for the warmth that once gave him strength.
The link to the present moment is severed, and comfort may be found only in reliving the trauma and holding on to the joyous memories before all hope was gone.
What we need to understand here is that loneliness doesn’t have to be a burden. It is the darkest, most desperate moments that lead a human being to radical changes, maturity, and self-acceptance.
The Hermit Tarot Card as a Situation
If you draw the Hermit as the current or coming situation, it signals a need for constructive seclusion and personal growth.
The Hermit indicates that you are on your way to a positive spiritual crisis. As a situation, it means that you have reached the end of your path for now. The only way to proceed is a new personal quest for answers, searching or waiting for something that will help you understand.
A patient recluse who has climbed the highest mountaintop, the Hermit beholds the world as a marvel. Although he has reached his destination, the journey is not over yet; he must return to the beginning, either alone or with the help of someone else.
The card is a sign for you to embrace change and find your guiding light. The way to wholeness passes through the void. Stay devoted to this path, and it will lead you to spiritual mastery.
When you find the answers you need, everything will fall into place.
The Hermit Reversed as a Situation
In reverse, the Hermit’s curiosity and avoidance make him stray from his path.
The Hermit reversed, as a situation, denotes that you may have lost your way, ending up in a place quite different from your initial destination. The answers you have been searching for might make no difference at all.
Not all those who wander are lost. However, the Hermit in reverse might be out of his depth, roaming where no man should tread, brooding over what could have been, or waiting for something that will never appear.
Aspiring to a spiritual, solitary life can help the seeker in his quest for truth. But an obsession with finding answers and trying to reason out the unexplainable has the exact opposite result, complicating the situation.
The Hermit, after all, teaches the philosophy of simplicity and feeling content wherever you may be.
The Hermit Tarot Card as Intentions / What Someone Wants
The Hermit is an ambivalent card to get as an indication of what someone wants from you.
The Hermit indicates a person who wants what is best for you. They have a lot to teach you, although the card indicates an intention to stay alone, away from distractions, to contemplate reality and find spiritual balance.
Like the Sun, the Hermit’s equivalent in the second decimal series of the Major Arcana, this card describes love and guidance from a distance. While the person of interest cares for you, they might seem distant because they know that they can only show you the way. They cannot do anything else for you.
You might wonder who the Hermit really is under all these layers. What does he conceal under the calm surface? What is the source of his radiance? What are his intentions? You may never find out.
Or, if you are lucky and prudent, he might show you a secret that will bring you closer to the truth.
The Hermit Reversed as Intentions / What Someone Wants
When describing someone’s intentions, the reversed Hermit expresses the want to be left alone and hold on to the past.
The reversed Hermit indicates a person who wants to withdraw from people and be alone with their thoughts. As opposed to the healthy introspection of its upright meaning, this card in reverse denotes a deliberate need to be distant from the world and lurk in the negative realm, refusing to move on.
Well, you could say that the Hermit in reverse has no intent to budge from his place. Believing he has found the only truth, idolizing the past because the present moment is supposedly unreal or not enough, avoiding others and dismissing them as a mere nuisance…
As an intentions card, the reversed Hermit simply does not want. The person of interest may conceal their distrust, their doubts about a brighter future, and the inability to connect with the excuse of independency and futile nostalgia.
Be careful; they are not at all balanced. They might refuse that they need help from you.
Is the Hermit Tarot Card a Yes or No?
Generally speaking, the Hermit is the signature card of discovering the truth on your own. What you are asking cannot be answered simply with a “Yes” or a “No.” You will have to wait and find out for yourself.
If the Hermit appears as the answer to a Yes or No question, it means that no one and nothing can single-handedly offer you a direct answer for this one. It is something that you will have to find out alone, with time and patience, trial, and error.
The Hermit Tarot Card as a Place
So where exactly does a Hermit dwell?
The Hermit obviously points to the peak of a mountain or locations in both nature and society where the calmness and silence offer a chance for self-reflection. The card might otherwise represent the comfort and privacy of your own home or a secret passageway.
The imagery of the card is straightforward; the Hermit stands alone on a mountaintop. He could be living in a wooden shelter, tending to the flock, or a picturesque monastery where time stands still. Other locations the card might refer to would be any place where you personally feel calm and concentrated.
Whether it is a hidden grove in the forest, a yoga studio, a psychologist’s office, or your own living room, it is the physical and mental space that helps you to align with your center. While commonplace to other people, it might take on an almost sacred quality for you.
Finally, as the Hermit is a card of crisis and passage, it might represent a secret pathway, an entrance to a different world, so to say, obscured from prying eyes.
The Hermit Reversed as a Place
Most Tarot cards portray human figures in particular places according to each figure’s role. Their reversal can be tricky to clarify in terms of locations in the real world, and it mostly depends on subjective interpretations. For the Hermit, we can presume the following.
The Hermit reversed most likely indicates a cold place of isolation. It might refer to feeling lost, far away from home, not knowing where you are and where you should go next, or to an emotionally dark space that brings back sad and painful memories.
Since the Hermit in the upright position denotes positive and voluntary seclusion, when reversed, it resembles the cold, deafening silence of exile and desolation. The implications can be limited only by imagination; a prison cell, a remote island of outcasts and rejects, a dark cave, an abandoned house, and so on.
The card might otherwise indicate that the seeker is lost, stuck to a place they don’t belong, willing but unable to get out. To paraphrase the Tao Te Ching: The further one travels, the less one knows.
The Hermit Tarot Card as an Obstacle / Challenge
The mountain, upon which the Hermit stands, is an ancient symbol of obstacles and challenges. In this case, they are of a spiritual nature.
As a challenge card in the upright position, the Hermit refers to the process of facing your strengths and weaknesses, your talents, and your fears. It is about being able to see through your actions, accept an unknown future, and keep on walking no matter what happens.
Who claims to know the ineffable mystery of the soul? The moment you seize the meaning, the moment you understand, it has already passed and gone with the wind. All we can do to comprehend both ourselves and nature is to reach self-awareness and make it possible for others to live.
The obstacle here is to let go of what has become a burden and to walk at a steady pace even when the future seems bleak. The challenge is to ascend above the drama and trivialities of social interactions and cultivate the brightest light of all; the human soul.
The Hermit describes the struggle to find the right path, the one choice among so many that might one day lead to bliss, and a quiet, fulfilling life.
The Hermit Reversed as an Obstacle / Challenge
The Hermit reversed as an obstacle or challenge may indicate the following.
In reverse, the Hermit describes the heavy burden of depression and the danger of not knowing what you are doing, of being in the dark. You might not be ready to cross this passage into the unknown due to a lack of balance and self-awareness. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
So, after all your efforts, you have reached the top of the mountain. Looking down, vertigo sets in, and you realize that you should have never come to this place. It brought you no comfort, just more anxiety, more questions without answers.
The only way out of darkness is through it. A reversed Hermit, as an obstacle, denotes a terrible feeling of helplessness and futility. No matter what lessons he picked up along the way, this mountain got the best of him, and now all his efforts concentrate on a solemn prayer for guidance and assistance.
The Hermit Tarot Card as Action
As an action card, the Hermit denotes moving slowly and carefully.
The Hermit does not move to action unless it is absolutely necessary. It’s time to turn your attention within and draw lessons from your own path. This card is about moving slowly, one step at a time, and finding intelligent, simple solutions.
As a devoted yogi, the Hermit chooses the way of least interference. Many problems would solve themselves if we just let them be. However, that doesn’t mean to leave everything up to fate. We should act when needed, from a place of calm and understanding.
Whether it is through meditation, self-reflection, therapy, or any other healing practice, the Hermit calls on you to discover your truth, accept that you have to go through changes, and plant your feet on solid ground.
Inaction is not a weakness. It’s simply the way to achieve what is possible effortlessly with the most efficient means.
To quote Archimedes, the ancient Greek scientist: “If you give me the right lever and a place to stand, I can move the world.”
The Hermit Reversed as Action
The reversed Hermit can be a warning that you are moving in the wrong direction because of loneliness and attachments.
As an action card, the reversed Hermit warns you that you are clinging on to what you should be letting go of. Actively seek a different path, talk to your friends and family, and protect yourself from harmful situations or habits.
As we’ve stated before, the search for truth may lead you to some dark places. It’s up to you to learn your lesson and find the exit or dwell in there and forsake the light of day.
Some say that the Hermit’s lantern may conceal an alcoholic’s bottle. This easy way out is poisonous to the soul and mind if not moderated, and symbolic of how someone may find comfort in escaping from reality. Alas, it creates more problems than solutions.
The Hermit, in reverse, reminds you to find your way, take a good look at yourself, and finally, let go.
The Hermit Tarot Card as Advice
The Hermit offers the most valuable advice, perhaps, among all the Tarot cards.
Destinations are unimportant. What matters is the journey. If the Hermit spoke to you, he’d tell you to look within yourself, face your fear, be authentic, and choose your own path in life. When we align with the will of the Universe, reality takes on a blissful, even sacred quality.
Only by finding your inner light will you able to enter the shadow. A mentor, a guide, or a teacher can only show you the way. You will have to cross the threshold and do the work all by yourself.
The Hermit steps back from the trifles of ordinary life and from a sense of power that would bring boredom, indulgence, and complacency. He willingly enters a crisis that will forever change his world.
To cross the abyss, he must surrender to the darkness within and let fear pass over him and through him. After this, after surviving this ordeal, only the Higher Self will remain.
However, to offer some less theoretical advice, the Hermit card is about introspection, spirituality, aspiring to wisdom, and living with simplicity.
And when there is nothing you can do, stay safe from harm, find time and space to heal, and play it cool until fortune smiles on you again.
The Hermit Reversed as Advice
In reverse, the Hermit as an advice card is not that different from its upright position, although it implies a lack of connection with other people, as opposed to seclusion as a healing process.
The Hermit reversed describes a person who needs a new direction in life. They might be paralyzed by fear or insecurities, and all their efforts to move forward lead them back to the start. If this resonates with you, take a break, search for a safer route, and don’t hesitate to ask for help.
If you feel like an outcast, is it because you were rejected? Or have you deliberately distanced yourself from people to avoid the risk of disappointment and bonding? Have you ever paused for a moment to ask yourself if you are happy with where you are right now and where you are heading?
The reversed Hermit might not recognize his helplessness. He might not listen to other people’s advice and work himself to exhaustion, ignoring the need for a break from all the noise and clutter.
It is essential, whatever you do in life, to always listen to what both the body and the Higher Self are trying to tell you. Don’t try to hoard material wealth, wisdom, answers, and experiences. Do not consciously strive for enlightenment.
An old Zen master, when asked what the secret of Zen was, said: “Don’t cling; don’t seek. When hungry, eat; when tired, sleep.”
The Hermit Tarot Card as an Outcome
As an outcome, the Hermit shows the way to healing and self-awareness.
In an upright position as an outcome, the Hermit indicates a positive crisis. You may have to ask important questions to yourself, reevaluate your steps, and accept that not everything will be revealed at once. People from your past may appear in your life to reconnect.
That is a chance to appreciate your progress through the years. What has changed in your life? Who stayed by your side? What more is there to learn? The Hermit signals a series of healing experiences and calls on you to ask the questions that will define your path.
You may find yourself wandering alone in your old neighborhood, around places you used to hang out, then suddenly meeting friends you haven’t seen for a long time, and comparing how life has treated you since the last time you saw each other.
Talking about the last few years, how you’ve all changed, and what has stayed the same can offer great insight into your life choices.
The Hermit Reversed as an Outcome
As an outcome card in reverse, the Hermit may indicate a spiritual or psychological crisis that will tire you and make you want to be alone.
In reverse, the Hermit is in isolation, weary from the journey. It’s up to you to face this distress head-on or lose your balance and stay in an inconvenient state. Perhaps as the outcome of a situation, you or someone in your life will take on the personality of the Hermit.
The Hermit reversed indicates that you or a person you care about will want to be alone, away from society. You may realize that there are unresolved issues regarding people or events from your past. Fatigue and emotional distress may cause you to want to stop and tell everyone to stay away.
There’s a chance that someone will need your help or that you will have to ask for help yourself unless you want to stay in this dark mood of silent contemplation. Find your guiding light but don’t let it blind you.
The Hermit Tarot Card in the Future
The Hermit is a rather intriguing card to get as your future.
The Hermit, as a future card, indicates walking toward the unknown. It will be a time of introspection and discovering spiritual wealth. The Hermit doesn’t turn his back on the future; he lets it unfold naturally, as it should, accepting the uncertainty and that he has no control over certain events.
In a reading that concerns your future, the Hermit tells you that, this time, you cannot foretell what will happen! You will have to discover it yourself and turn your eye within to look for answers, as you will not find them in the external world.
Walk with caution. You may learn that by accepting and mending the mistakes of the past, you can find the way to the future you want. The card may herald nine days, nine weeks, or even nine months that will prepare you for a much needed spiritual transformation.
The Hermit Reversed in the Future
In reverse, the Hermit can be read as a warning from your Higher Self, telling you to let go of your anxiety about the future. Doubt can only manifest what has already gone wrong until you learn your lesson.
The future indicated by the Hermit in reverse may involve failures, missteps, and traumatic experiences that you have already gone through but failed to learn from them.
In some respect, the Hermit is about letting go of the past and being content with not knowing where the road will take you.
So, this card in reverse denotes the opposite, namely turning a blind eye to the possibilities of the future and clinging on to the past, perpetually recreating what has proved to be wrong for you. You can perceive ambivalence as either a chance to be surprised or a presumption of disappointment.
The Hermit reversed is a sign to turn around and seek a new direction in your life.
The Hermit Tarot Card as a Person
The Hermit represents a mature, wise, and solitary person. He might be a teacher, a spiritual guide, a dear friend, or a father figure whose knowledge and insight can shed light on your problems.
He wanders between darkness and light, high and low, carrying the Sun in his lantern. A spiritual master, an adept in self-exploration, a wise scholar, he will never refuse help to those who need it.
The Hermit’s light calls for others to follow him. He may not know what the future holds or where the path leads, but he knows when to walk and when to wait.
That could be an aged man or woman, or a young person with tremendous knowledge and an abundance of life experiences. A seeker of truth, this person appreciates solitude, as it is the cornerstone of wisdom and self-awareness.
The Hermit is a lonely soul. He always carries with him all the memories, good and bad. The flame in the lantern is his guide, his friend, and his God.
The Hermit Reversed as a Person
In reverse, the Hermit is a cold and stubborn outcast.
Whether rejected or self-exiled, the reverse Hermit resembles a person who refuses to heal, change, and move on. He might claim to know everything, mistake loneliness for independence, and try to convince others of spiritual truths that have no application in the real world.
The Hermit, in reverse, is lost in disappointment, too self-absorbed to know what is best for him or others. Forgetful, anti-social, and proud, he looks down on the world with bitter indifference, which might even conceal envy or resentment for the joy of other people.
A self-proclaimed saint who claims to have found enlightenment, he might try to convince you that you are living a lie and sneer at you for saying that the earth is round!
Refusing to see his imperfections, such a person can project their own shadow onto others, critical of what they cannot accept about themselves.
What Zodiac Sign is the Hermit?
The Hermit represents a person with the Virgo Zodiac sign. Virgos are smart, wise, exceptionally grounded, and prefer to do everything themselves. Their devotion and readiness to help others fit the archetype of the Hermit. Their element is Earth.
Modest, graceful, quiet, and talented, Virgos are always looking for beauty and practical solutions. They are wise, even though sometimes they won’t admit it, and know that hard work pays off.
Virgos are the kind of people who will leave the party early to go home and read a book.
They do enjoy the company of others, but they love being alone with themselves to relax, heal, and just do whatever they feel like at any given moment.
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- What’s the difference between the Major and Minor Arcana?
- How to use the Major Arcana tarot cards
- How to read the Minor Arcana Tarot Cards
- Is the Hermit Tarot Card a good card?
Major Arcana Cards Complete Guides
- The Fool
- The Magician
- The High Priestess
- The Empress
- The Emperor
- The Hierophant
- The Lovers
- The Chariot
- The Hermit
- Wheel of Fortune
- The Hanged Man
- The Devil
- The Tower
- The Star
- The Moon
- The Sun
- The World
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