Tarot Cards – The Hermit

Tablet of Contents on This Enchanted Page

 372 Lifetime Visits for This Realm,  2 Wizards Have Been Here Today

Affirmation: ‘Taking time out is an option, I need to create calm in my life.’

Ruling Planet: Mercury

Ruling Zodiac: Virgo

Kabbalistic Letter: Yod

Path on the Tree of Life: Tipheret (Beauty) to Netzach (Victory)

Stones: Howlite & Kyanite

Key words: Solitude, retreat, meditation

Image: The Hermit stands on top of a mountain holding a lit lantern to show him the way forwards. He steadies himself with a staff as he contemplates his next move. We see a lone figure of an elderly man, standing against the backdrop of a mountain range at night. The scene is one of darkness and a cold wind seems to be blowing from one direction. Around by his feet and on the tops of mountains behind him we can see snow. In his hand he holds a lamp, from which a six-pointed star is shining. His light represents the inner light of wisdom, which is revealed through meditation and quiet contemplation. The ninth trump, the Hermit, signifies enlightenment, solitude, and contemplation. One can see a man holding a lantern, the Lamp of Truth, and a staff. The lamp is used to guide the lost ones, and the team to aid him in leading the way. His cloak is a form of prudence. He epitomizes a wise man ready to guide those who seek the truth.


‘I am the Hermit and sooner or later you will have to know me. I represent the initial contacts which you will have with your own inner light of wisdom. Your first encounter with me may well be quite by chance, when you hear a non-spoken voice talking to you. I say non-spoken because any “voice” which you otherwise “hear” in any clairaudient sense is the result of mental circuitry going off in the wrong direction. But when I speak to you, you will know it with a greater certainty than you could possibly visualize at this time. I am that light which stands in the darkness, showing you that the way to spiritual truth lies in the opposite direction to the sense of gratification of the material world. Many mystics have realized this, that to get to that inner light they must first of all still the clamouring of the senses for yet more sensation. Thus they have renounced their wealth, have put on sackcloth, have taken up a diet of plain-tasting food. But so beautiful has been the connection which they have made with their own divine light that all of these other “pleasures” have seemed mere dross in comparison, mere wrapping paper.’


In this card we can see that you have led something of a solitary life, always holding yourself back from other people, seemingly letting them into your life but not really doing so. This card suggests that you are a very private person, or have been up until now. Your path has led you through some very solitary experiences and, symbolically, has been akin to a path that has run through a mountain range. Now you stand at the top of this same mountain and you hold a lantern outstretched in front of you. You are just finishing a period of relative isolation, in which psychologically you have gone through a slimming process. Unnecessary layers of personality have been sheared away and you are probably feeling slightly worse for wear. Now, this card is telling you, you must begin to think much more in terms of how you are going to find your way back down the mountainside, to the valley below where the rest of us live. Your presence is required here, in the real world, where the rest of us can enjoy your company and get the benefit of your wisdom, of your experiences, no matter how isolated from us they may make you seem or feel. This is your next step. The Hermit also touches upon the value of just going off by ourselves every now and again, just to clear our own minds. Some people find that they get real benefit from going to a monastery or ashram, for a period. Others are content just to go for walks in the park, alongside a river or to an ancient site such as Glastonbury Tor. If people aren’t able to get away by themselves every now and again, they will resort to other, less positive ways of ‘escaping’ from the mental proximity of others, such as drugs and drink. The Hermit teaches us the need we each of us have to ‘vanish’ and the value in terms of heightened insight which we can derive from the experience. Are you getting away enough, the Hermit is asking you? Are you making some time for yourself, forsaking all others? How else do you expect to hear that still small voice of the Higher Self through all of that din and racket that you call social life?


The Hermit card is a powerful indicator that intense transformation lies ahead, but it also suggests that you will need to spend serious time alone to embrace that transformative path. The Hermit forces you to face those spiritual and emotional elements in your life that are likely holding you back. Furthermore, this card reminds you of your connection to your higher self. Once you access that alone time, this connection will be both strengthened and developed so that it’s more useful to you than ever. If you pull the Hermit card, it’s time to withdraw, get introspective, and retreat into your own psyche for a little while. When you re-emerge, you will be like a butterfly emerging from its caterpillar cocoon. The Hermit shows us one possible way towards liberation of the human soul, rather than necessarily the only way in which that is achieved. Thus he could well lead us out of the rocky pass we find ourselves in. But we shouldn’t be too quick to avail ourselves of what he offers us in its place. Caution is advised here, even if we do choose to follow his lead and take the path of renunciation which he suggests. Essentially, we shouldn’t rush at this point. Let us instead look at what other options there might be. The Hermit’s appearance denotes the need to spend time alone to understand your life’s fundamental principles. Simply put, it’s time for some soul searching through contemplation and meditation. You may need to readjust your priorities in life and your lifestyle.


In reverse, the Hermit signifies the worst that can happen with alone time: isolation, ostracism, fear, loneliness, and stagnation. If you pull the Hermit in reverse, look closely at your social patterns to see if you’ve been too isolated to sustain growth. Sometimes, this alone time starts out healthy and turns toxic, as with moments after betrayal, crisis, or breakup. To ensure things remain productive, embrace this shadow time as a temporary thing that will inevitably lead to growth, rather than seeing it as a moment to inhabit for eternity. The Hermit suggests that the querent may be isolating himself too much that he neglects his social duties even towards his family and friends, bringing dire results in the process.  If the one to whom you are reading is currently single, it may mean that he desires to commit to a relationship. On the other hand, if it appears in a relationship reading, then it signals that either one of the couples must spend some time alone.


Ashrams, monasteries, nunneries. Places of refuge. The mountains. Tibet. Caves. Buddhist monks. Devotees.


Meditation, serenity, realization, enlightenment. Transcendence. Needing little materially.


Withholding. Puritanical. Condemnatory of the pleasures of others. Spiritual pride.


The Meaning of 9

The Number 9 is said to represent completion that aims toward leadership. You are following a cycle that’s about to be completed, and that will mean new options for you. 9 signifies this energy. Furthermore, 9 demonstrates what happens when you’re fully selfless and allow yourself to be directed by divinity. 9 is about the healing that can be enacted for self and others when you’re openly loving.