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The Hermit

Tarot Card Meanings

He walks through the dark night of his unconscious, guided only by the low light of the northern star, with his destination being his home, by his self.
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The Hermit Tarot Card Description

On the peak of a mountain, The Hermit is alone. The snow-capped range represents his spiritual mastery, growth, and achievement. He chose this path of self-discovery and as a result, has attained a higher level of awareness.

He holds a lantern with a six-pointed star inside in his right hand; it is the Seal of Solomon, a symbol of wisdom. The lamp illuminates The Hermit’s path as he walks, but only for a few steps rather than the entire journey. He must take the first step to see where he should go next, knowing that not everything will be revealed at once. The Hermit holds a long staff (a symbol of his power and authority) in his left hand, the side of the subconscious mind, which he uses to guide and balance himself.

NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.

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The Hermit Keywords

 Upright Keywords:
  • Soul-searching
  • Introspection
  • Being alone
  • Inner guidance
Reversed Keywords:
  • Isolation
  • Loneliness
  • Withdrawal

Upright Hermit Meaning

The Hermit indicates that you are taking a break from daily life to direct your energy and attention inward and discover the answers you seek deep within your soul. You recognize that your most profound sense of truth and knowledge is found within yourself, rather than in the distractions of the outside world. You leave the mundane behind to embark on a journey of self-discovery guided solely by your inner wisdom and guiding light. Now is an excellent time to go on a weekend retreat or sacred pilgrimage, or to do anything else that allows you to reflect on your motivations, personal values, and principles, and get closer to your authentic self.

The Hermit invites you to retreat into your private world and enjoy a profound sense of seclusion and introspection. You understand that you must embark on this journey alone or with a small, intimate group of spiritually-minded individuals. Allowing yourself to tune in to your inner, guiding light will allow you to hear the answers you seek and grow wise beyond your years. Find your light, let it shine on your soul, and carve your path. You’ll see what’s ahead of you – not for miles and miles, but just enough to know where to go next. Take it one step at a time from there.

The Hermit frequently appears when you are at a crossroads in your life and contemplating a new path. You may begin to re-evaluate your personal goals and change your overall course through meditation, contemplation, and self-examination. You will see your life through a more spiritual lens, and some of your priorities will shift as a result.

The Hermit also represents the desire to withdraw from a consumerist or materialistic society to concentrate on one’s inner world. Have you seen (or read) the film Into the Wild? Christopher McCandless, a top student, and athlete abandons his possessions, donates his entire $24,000 savings account to charity, and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness alone. While his story has a tragic ending, his journey into the wilderness was similar to that of The Hermit, who seeks answers within and knows that only quiet and solitude will bring them.

Finally, The Hermit may appear as a spiritual mentor in your life to help you raise your vibration and expand your consciousness. The beauty of this mentor is that, while he is an expert in his own right, he will teach you how to look within yourself for answers.

Reversed Hermit Meaning

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The Hermit Reversed can mean one of two things: you are not giving yourself enough time for personal reflection, or you are giving yourself too much. If you’re having trouble connecting with your spiritual self, The Hermit Reversed suggests making more space to meditate and reflect. It is time to go deeper within yourself and rediscover your greater purpose on this planet. You might have been so preoccupied with day-to-day issues that you forgot to listen to your inner voice. The Hermit asks you to look deep within your soul to help you find your way again and to focus on spiritually rebuilding yourself.

If you’ve already been spending a lot of time reflecting on your inner self, The Hermit Reversed may indicate that you’re going too far with your isolation. Are you becoming a hermit and isolating yourself from others? Do not underestimate the importance of staying connected with others, even while on your spiritual journey. Consider other people’s needs as well. You don’t want to become so preoccupied with yourself and your problems that you neglect your family and friends.

The Hermit Reversed can indicate unwanted isolation in a relationship reading. For example, one person may prefer to be alone or withdraw from the relationship, whereas the other wishes to strengthen the bond. You must respect each other’s requests for space while also being available to support each other as needed. Alternatively, the prospect of being alone is so frightening and unappealing at this time that you do everything possible to stay together. Despite the difficulties in your relationship, neither of you wants to be apart from the other. It’s almost too soon to be apart, and you both want to figure things out together. If you have separated, The Hermit Reversed may indicate that you are ready to reconcile.

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