Visual Description of The Hermit:
The wise old Hermit stands in the dark, alone. He is carrying a lamp with the six-pointed star, a symbol of wisdom. The light from the lamp only illuminates a small area though. He cannot see the future, regardless of his sagely wisdom. He must proceed to see what lies hidden in the dark. The staff in his left hand represents power and authority. He uses this to guide him through the darkness and balance him should his footing falter. In the background are the snowy peaks, showing the heights to which The Hermit has risen on his journey of self-discovery.
Divinatory Meaning of The Hermit:
Upright Meaning of The Hermit Tarot Card:
The Hermit represents the querent themselves and it is the next logical step in the story told by the Major Arcana. After finding inner strength The Fool ventures off on his own. He realises that he has everything he needs within himself.
‘It’s time to take a break from the people around you and focus on your inner self. You carry all the wisdom you need within and if you remain engaged in the external world at this time others may lead you astray.
There are still some things you need to tend to within, but with self-knowledge comes great wisdom and you now have the special opportunity to take a break from the external world and focus on only yourself. In this repose you will find the answers you seek. You will learn to follow your inner guiding light and make decisions that will take you further in life than decisions based on the ideas of others.’
The querent may be dubious of their inner wisdom and frantically searching for external reassurance that what they are doing is right. They will only find the answer they are looking for if they learn to trust their inner strength and follow their instincts. Remind them that nobody knows for certain what the future holds until they arrive there.
Reversed Meaning of The Hermit Tarot Card:
The Hermit in reverse means one of two things. Either the querent is avoiding self reflection, or they are drowning in it.
‘Too much of a good thing is just as bad as too little of it. In the case of The Hermit reversed you’re being warned to remain balanced when it comes to introspection. If you’re not checking in with yourself enough you are at risk of becoming dishonest and mischievous as you search for ways to express your true self. This may start happening on a subconscious level. Consciously you’ll be feeling frustrated and resentment towards others.
If you’re checking in with yourself too often, withdrawing from society, you’ll end up losing touch with the real world. This could lead to becoming scared of it. You’ll be constantly vigilant, expecting the worst.
A healthy balance between time alone and time interacting with others will help you to avoid becoming corrupted by either your own thoughts or the thoughts of others. If someone is pushing you away give them the space they need to balance themselves. Inner strength can only come from within and without the necessary alone time the world may flood you with obstacles that will drown you. With too much time alone you will lack the experience necessary to test your wisdom.’
The querent must be vigilant of themselves at this time, rather than others. Balance is essential for them to continue on their chosen path. Not taking time alone, or taking too much time alone will create discomfort in all relationships. If the querent has someone in their lives who is represented by the reversed Hermit they should act in a way that is conducive to this person overcoming the obstacles represented by the card.