Often, the Hermit card in Tarot is only taken at its most basic meaning. It is seen only as a symbol of loneliness, solitude, and isolation, something that we are very much experiencing at the present moment. However, the Hermit card offers much more of a rewarding future, and even a rewarding present if appreciated in the right manner.
So with that being said, is the Hermit card a good card to see in a spread?
Depending on the context, the Hermit not only represents a physical solitude but can also speak of a mental and spiritual retreat, in which introspection will lead the querent to the answers they seek. A reliance on the self can lead to answers and blessings, which the Hermit card reveals only after such introspection.
Let’s explore in-depth the Hermit tarot card, and how it can be interpreted and applied in our lives.
(Don’t forget to check out our Related Articles section at the end of this post. I’ve listed a number of articles that you should find interesting)
Table of Contents
The Hermit Upright
A Physical Retreat
Often, the Hermit urges us to withdraw from the chaos, stress, and undue turbulence that we often absorb from social settings. Perhaps if you are a person who heavily relies on your friends, family, or just people in general to gain energy and joy. The perceived joy gained from interaction with others will start to overpower everything else.
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The Hermit card says that meaningful conversation is always needed, but meaningless, and often trivial and chaotic, chatter is unnecessary. There may be a sense of avoidance to be alone in your own energy and own thoughts, or it may even be that you cannot gain time out of the day to enter into this state.
To be lost in our own silence and forced to face ourselves is difficult. But the most important thing that the Hermit addresses is that it is a meaningful solitude.
A meaningful solitude can be achieved most commonly by meditation, especially when this card is paired with the Four of Swords. It speaks of rest, not avoidance. Coping mechanisms, such as the media, TV, or Netflix are sometimes what we need for some time alone. They are what we should enjoy, but not overdo.
It is not commonly seen for the aspect of balance to be present in the Hermit card, but it does indeed promote a balance between our social, domestic, inner, and spiritual worlds. Too much of the social realm can lead to an imbalance of an individual’s own energy.
Too much of an inner world of escapism can lead to a lack of mindful solitude. Likewise, too much of a spiritual world can be reflected also in the Hermit reversed, as will be mentioned later on.
A Spiritual Path
The Hermit card projects an energy of meaningfulness. This means that the Hermit card is about slow, deliberate action. Many wonder if the Hermit card is about action at all. Isn’t its meaning just to show that we need to withdraw into our own space for a while?
Not quite- this retreat into introspection is not necessarily one of staying still. The two actions of introspection and movement are not mutually exclusive. Whilst the Hermit card does not suggest the direct and fast forward movement of the Chariot, it does not present the standstill and step back from movement that the Hanged Man depicts either.
The picture of the old man holding out a lantern in front of him depicts a searching for something. In this card, there is search, either of clarity or an answer to a question. Thus, this searching movement, combined with a retreat into introspection, gives the basis of what the Hermit card in Tarot represents.
There is no sense of flightiness, rushing, or ungroundedness. Instead, a slow and quiet searching is necessary, in the presence of a grounded and stable energy.
The Hermit card is one of initiative. It is the initiative of making deliberate and mindful movement to enter into the present, our own bodies, and to understand what our intuition is leading us to.
There is even a sense that we and the old man are searching for something bigger, something quite like a spiritual purpose or a breakthrough that can only be achieved through self-examination. Only then can we progress forwards, onto a path that the lantern has shone its light upon.
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Enlightenment of the Past
Most importantly, the Hermit is a card of contemplation. But notice that the old man on the card is facing towards the left, looking upon the direction of the past. Even the direction of the lamp points towards the left, showing an enlightenment of past events, or even upon a past self.
Notice also that there’s no movement from the old man to step back into that past energy; he simply shines his light upon it. This suggests that perhaps you have the answers to a past misfortune, to something you didn’t understand at the time, but by shining your own light onto parts of yourself, you’ll come to realize what and why it happened.
A grounded energy was mentioned in the previous section, and this energy could also apply here. Is it possible that you are not fully present in your current body, but instead projecting into the past?
Now that you have gained insight upon a past self, it is time to move on.
The Hermit card is a good card because the benefits that the querent will reap once they have taken the advice will manifest greatly, mentally, and spiritually.
Here are a couple of articles that discuss manifesting your reality:
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- How to manifest money quickly and easily
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The Hermit Reversed
In its reversed position, the Hermit card does not reflect positively. It suggests a period of forced solitude, and sometimes even emotional rejection. When the people in our lives don’t reciprocate, or simply don’t have enough time to reciprocate, our actions of kindness towards them, how should we react?
The Hermit reversed can simply act as a reminder that in this period of solitude, we can rely upon ourselves. There is no better feeling than one of stability and security in settling within ourselves and knowing that we have the self-awareness to use this time to concentrate on ourselves.
The Hermit reversed could also suggest that self-introspection is not being enacted. There is somehow not enough contemplation that has been given to a certain path. If something is not bringing you fulfillment, is there a higher self that you can ask, to aid in some decision?
Reversed, the Hermit can indicate a refusal to look inside yourself for answers, or a disconnect with your intuition. Every individual has intuition, and it can be heightened by silencing our thoughts and connecting with our higher purpose.
Ultimately, whether this card reversed indicates a period of forced isolation, a break in isolation, or an encouragement to enter introspection, a grounding of your energy is something that can always be worked upon.
We have established that the Hermit card does indeed bring good rewards to our spiritual and mental state. However, we also know that these benefits do not come easily, and thus they will be long-lasting and impactful, a rewarding result of the sometimes-painful period of solitude that we are required to go through.
As always, the difficult times are here for positive changes. Here are some clarifying or solidifying questions that can help you determine what actions you can take next:
- What aspect of myself- spiritually, physically, or mentally- does the Hermit card refer to?
- What advice does my Higher Self have on the process of my self-reflection and introspection?
- What baggage am I still holding onto from the past?
- What steps can I take to anchor myself in a grounded energy?
- How can I pay closer attention to my inner voice and intuition?
- What aspect in my life am I being urged to contemplate upon?
In summary, the Hermit card may not seem like a good card to receive in a Tarot spread. We may even breathe a sigh of frustration, as the time we spend with ourselves can lack the energy, entertainment, and fun that social interaction can supply us with.
But once we realize that it is a necessary energy to go through, it can even become a much-appreciated break in the repetitiveness and chaos in our lives. Whoever receives this card and decides to follow in the path of its advice will most definitely emerge from this period of isolation with a new self.
A new self can indicate either a transformation, a shedding of old beliefs and systems, or enlightenment of an old self, which has undergone a major series of breakthroughs. These do not have to refer to a series of earth-shattering, life-changing matters.
They can simply refer to a new movement forward, which the querent has decided upon through the method of contemplation and introspection.
Whatever the case, the benefits of the Hermit card will arise when we receive the answers we needed and were looking for to help us in the next step of the journey.
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