Hermit Tarot Card Meanings
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UPRIGHT: Soul-searching, introspection, being alone, inner guidance
REVERSED: Isolation, loneliness, withdrawal
The Hermit stands alone on the top of a mountain. The snow-capped range symbolises his spiritual mastery, growth and accomplishment. He has chosen this path of self-discovery and, as a result, has reached a heightened state of awareness.
In his right hand, he holds a lantern with a six-pointed star inside; it is the Seal of Solomon, a symbol of wisdom. As the Hermit walks his path, the lamp lights his way – but it only illuminates his next few steps rather than the full journey. He must step forward to see where to go next, knowing that not everything will be revealed at once. In his left hand, the side of the subconscious mind, the Hermit holds a long staff (a sign of his power and authority), which he uses to guide and balance him.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
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The Hermit shows that you are taking a break from everyday life to draw your energy and attention inward and find the answers you seek, deep within your soul. You realise that your most profound sense of truth and knowledge is within yourself and not in the distractions of the outside world. You leave behind the mundane to set off on a journey of self-discovery, led only by your inner wisdom and guiding light. Now is the perfect time to go on a weekend retreat or sacred pilgrimage, anything in which you can contemplate your motivations, personal values and principles, and get closer to your authentic self.
The Hermit invites you to retreat into your private world and experience a deep sense of seclusion and introspection. You know that you need to take this journey alone or with a small, intimate group of spiritually minded people. When you allow yourself to tune in to your inner, guiding light, you will hear the answers you need and grow wise beyond your years. Find your light, shine it on your soul and create your unique path. You will see what lies ahead of you – not miles upon miles, but enough to know where to step next. From there, take one step at a time.
The Hermit often appears when you are at a pivotal point in your life and considering a new direction. Through meditation, contemplation, and self-examination, you may begin to re-evaluate your personal goals and change your overall course. You will look at your life with a deeper, more spiritual understanding and a few of your priorities will change as a result.
The Hermit also represents the desire to turn away from a consumerist or materialistic society to focus on your inner world. Have you ever seen (or read) Into the Wild? After graduating from university, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness alone. Whilst his story has a tragic ending, his journey into the wild was like that of the Hermit, who seeks answers within and knows they will come only with quiet and solitude.
Finally, the Hermit may appear in your life as a spiritual mentor here to raise your vibration and enhance your consciousness. The beauty of this mentor is that, while he may be an expert in his own right, he will teach you how to find your answers within you.
The reversed Hermit can go one of two ways: you are not taking enough time for personal reflection, or you are taking too much. If you struggle to connect with your spiritual self, the Hermit reversed encourages you to create more space to meditate and reflect. It is time to go deeper into your inner being and rediscover your greater purpose on this earth. You may have been so busy dealing with the day-to-day issues that you have forgotten to listen to your inner voice. The Hermit asks you to search deep within your soul to help you find your way again and focus on rebuilding yourself on a spiritual level.
If you have already been spending a lot of time reflecting on your inner self, then the reversed Hermit may suggest that you may be taking this isolation thing too far. Are you becoming a literal hermit and cutting yourself off from others? Do not underestimate the value of staying connected with others, even while you are going through your spiritual journey. Be mindful, too, of other people’s needs. You do not want to become so absorbed in yourself and your personal dilemmas that you shut out your family and friends.
In a relationship reading, the reversed Hermit can indicate unwelcome isolation. For example, one person may want to be alone or withdraw from the relationship, while the other wants to deepen the connection. You will need to respect each other’s request for space but also be there to support as appropriate. Alternatively, the idea of being on your own is so daunting and unappealing at this time that you do everything in your power to stay together. Despite the relationship‘s challenges, neither one of you wants to be apart from each other. It is almost too soon to be apart and you still both want to work things out together. If you have separated, then the Hermit reversed may show that you are ready to explore a reconnection.