IX - The Hermit
The Hermit is where the Major Arcana moves away from interpersonal relationships and public recognition. We see a solitary figure walking over snowy ground with just a lantern and a staff. This card signifies turning inward and following one’s own path. The Hermit is walking away from outside influences and following the light of his own lantern.
What happens when we walk alone? In reality, we’re far from engulfed in meaningless solitude. In being alone we are able to hear out own thoughts better. We get to know who we truly are. The Hermit shows us the beauty, wisdom, and grace of solitude. Yes, there is a little terror mixed in there, but that goes for anything unknown.
What is The Hermit waking towards? The card gives us few visual clues. His path is for himself and he can only discover what his lantern illuminates. Because of this the card can signify incremental change – taking things slowly as you embark on a new path of discovery. In a more literal sense, he can refer to studying, academia, and knowledge. Of course, there are spiritual overtones to this card, and the seeking need not be limited to traditional wisdom.
In fact, there is something inherently esoteric about The Hermit. Whether he is looking for traditional or non-traditional knowledge, his underlying motivation is solidly rooted in his understanding of himself. This is a card that refers to deep decisions and seeking. There’s no impulsiveness like in the Knight of Wands. The Hermit is following his own light and his path is in alignment with a higher calling.
In readings this card can refer to a need to explore and follow one’s unique path. The Hermit is a seeker – he is constantly looking for something. This particular something is not easily found, and it’s important for The Hermit to remain connected with himself and his values. Solitude helps as does self-reflection and an open mind.
Taken in excess, the energy of The Hermit can leave people cut off from others and feeling stagnant and down. It is entirely possible to embody the energy of The Hermit and remain engaged with the warmth and support of others we all need.
Solitude, introspection, depth, seeking, wisdom, knowledge, spiritual journey, higher meaning, life path
Taking time for yourself, engaging in deep thoughts, rethinking beliefs and patterns, striking out on your own, taking an ideological leap, departing from commonly held beliefs, taking a stand, looking for more meaning, embarking on a course of study, making decisions based on a personal code, a period of withdrawal
Thoughtful, deliberate, spiritual, brave, independent, discerning, diligent
Detached, hard to please, isolated, withdrawn, restless