Ian Parkin is the author of this post.
The Hermit tarot card meaning, whether upright or reversed, is about your journey. It's about turning down the noise, tuning into your own rhythm, and dancing to your own beat. So, when The Hermit comes knocking, take a deep breath, take a step back, and listen to the silent whispers of your inner wisdom. As The Hermit would say, "You've got this, kiddo."
Upright, The Hermit tarot card represents soul-searching, introspection, and inner guidance. When The Hermit shows up in a reading, it's time to take a breather and engage in some self-reflection.
On the flip side, reversed, The Hermit can signal excessive isolation, loneliness, or a time when introspection has taken a U-turn into obsession. Beware! It's a cautionary tale that while introspection can be enlightening, excessive isolation can make a person feel as lost as a ball in high weeds.
The Hermit tarot card from the Rider-Waite deck is symbolic and detailed in its design.
Central Figure: The card showcases an elderly figure, the Hermit himself, representing wisdom and introspection. He is clad in a long, simple robe, conveying asceticism and detachment from material comforts. His face is often partially hidden by the hood of the robe, suggesting mystery and inner seeking.
Mountain: The Hermit stands at the peak of a snow-capped mountain, symbolizing accomplishment, higher thinking, and enlightenment. The mountain is often rugged, emphasizing the journey and challenges that the Hermit has faced to reach this height.
Lantern: In the Hermit's right hand, he holds a lantern with a six-pointed star inside, also known as the Seal of Solomon. This represents wisdom and guidance, illuminating the path for others to follow. The light it casts is subtle but effective.
Staff: In his left hand, the Hermit holds a sturdy staff, denoting power and authority. It also suggests support and stability, assisting the Hermit on his journey.
Grey Color Scheme: The overall color scheme of the card is dominantly grey, suggesting neutrality and implying that the Hermit is beyond mundane desires and distractions. This sober color palette also evokes a sense of solitude and introspection.
The Hermit's Spot on the Dance Floor of Major Arcana:
Shuffling its way in at number 9 in the Major Arcana, The Hermit tarot card takes a notable position in the tarot's dance of life. The number 9 symbolizes wisdom and enlightenment, reflecting a time for introspection after the flurry of power and strength embodied by card number 8, The Strength. It's as if, after the roar of the lion, the universe settles into a deep, quiet sigh.
The Hermit's Part in the Symphony of the Soul's Journey:
In the grand narrative of the tarot, The Hermit tarot card takes us on a journey of self-discovery and personal development. This part of the journey is a solitary quest, where one turns inward, away from the noise and distractions of the outer world, to explore the uncharted territories of the mind and spirit. It's a spiritual journey of introspection, where we tune in to our inner guru and find our own north star.
Tarot Traditions Tango: Comparing The Hermit in Rider-Waite-Smith, Thoth, and Marseille:
The Hermit’s depiction varies across traditions. In the Thoth tarot, The Hermit, holding a coiled snake, represents the divine life force awakening from slumber. The Tarot of Marseille, while being more abstract, presents a more traditional depiction similar to the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition, highlighting The Hermit's solitary quest for wisdom.
Historical Echoes: The Hermit Card's Evolution:
The Hermit tarot card's origins trace back to 15th century Italy, but it has evolved significantly over time. In earlier decks, The Hermit was sometimes depicted as 'Time' or 'The Old Man.' Today, The Hermit, across most decks, has become a timeless symbol of introspection and self-discovery, inviting us to pause, reflect, and delve deep within ourselves.
Interpreting The Hermit Card's Message Across Life's Arenas:
Whether it's in the realm of career, relationships, or personal development, The Hermit tarot card's appearance can signal a time for self-reflection and introspection. In career readings, The Hermit could be nudging you to evaluate your career path and ask yourself if it aligns with your deeper purpose. Is your work sparking joy, or has it become as dull as dishwater?
In a relationship context, The Hermit may suggest a need for solitude or space to figure things out. It could be time to untangle the emotional spaghetti and understand what your heart truly wants.
For self development, The Hermit prompts us to seek wisdom within. It's an invitation to embark on a journey of self-discovery, a spiritual quest to understand our deepest desires and fears. It's as personal as a fingerprint, this journey, and it can lead us to an enlightened understanding of ourselves.
Beyond personal development, career, and relationship readings, The Hermit tarot card has a way of illuminating other life areas as well. Suppose it pops up in a health reading. In that case, it may be nudging you to take a step back, evaluate your health habits, and perhaps develop a deeper understanding of your body's needs. It's like an in-house doctor telling you, "It's time for a checkup, pal."
During a spiritual reading, The Hermit's presence encourages a quest for inner wisdom and enlightenment, pushing you to seek a deeper connection with your spiritual self. It's as if you're on your own personal pilgrimage, venturing into the depths of your soul to find that sacred space within.
Zooming into the Symbols: The Lantern, Staff, and Cloak of The Hermit:
The Hermit's lantern in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot illuminates the path to wisdom. It signifies the light of truth that guides us in our solitary quest for self-understanding. Picture it as a torchlight guiding you through the maze of your mind.
The staff he carries symbolizes his power and authority over his own destiny. It serves as a reminder that you hold the power to chart your own course in life. You're the captain of your ship, mate!
The cloak, draped over The Hermit, represents discretion and solitude, indicating the importance of introspection and privacy in our journey of self-discovery. It's like your personal 'Do Not Disturb' sign, signaling the world to give you some space.
Key Aspects About The Hermit Tarot Card
Symbolism: The Hermit card typically portrays an old man standing alone at the peak of a mountain with a lantern in his hand. The mountain denotes accomplishment, growth, and success. The hermit's staff is a symbol of his power and authority. The lantern symbolizes the light of his knowledge illuminating the path for others, even though he chooses a path of solitude. The snow at his feet represents the purity of his spiritual intent.
Main Themes: The Hermit signifies solitude, introspection, inner guidance, and wisdom gained from self-reflection. It's about looking inward, seeking truth, and understanding life's challenging lessons. It also represents a period of self-imposed isolation to seek answers within.
Meaning in Readings: In a reading, The Hermit can indicate a time of introspection and self-reflection. It may be a call to withdraw from the external world to find wisdom and understanding. It can suggest that the answer to a problem lies not in the external world, but within oneself. If the card represents another person, it can refer to a wise, thoughtful individual who may provide guidance or mentorship.
Numerology: The Hermit is the 9th card in the tarot deck, and the number 9 in numerology represents completion, wisdom, and the conclusion of a cycle. It is associated with spiritual enlightenment, inner wisdom, and introspection, aligning perfectly with the theme of The Hermit.
Astrology: The Hermit is associated with the zodiac sign Virgo. Virgo is an earth sign, grounded, practical, analytical, and diligent. It relates to Virgo's affinity for introspection, detail-orientation, and the pursuit of knowledge.
Archetype: As an archetype, The Hermit represents the wise old man or the sage. This archetype seeks truth and wisdom in solitude, stepping back from the everyday world to look inward for answers. The Hermit guides others with the light of wisdom, although preferring to remain somewhat detached from society.