The Hermit tarot card is the ultimate example of a personal quest. Finally, honest enough to understand their own limitations, the hermit is trying to shut the world away for some time, long enough to focus on the problem they have to overcome without suffering from outside distractions.
Traditional meanings associated with the Hermit card
Like the eponymous character depicted on the major arcana cards, the Hermit is taking a break from the outside world to focus on the matters at hand in a swifter and more effective way. This is a call for introspection and timely thinking. A call for prudence against swift reactions and hot-headedness.
Upright: Mystery, introspection, secrets, wisdom, the future, science, and spirituality.
Reversed: Passion, surface knowledge, blind dogmatic trust, and holier-than-thou attitude.
Upright Hermit tarot card meaning
This is one of the most easily recognizable tarot cards from one deck to the next. The hermit in tarot is usually an old man, alone, on a clear background, wearing a long robe, a wooden stick and a lamp (or a candle) in his hands. This is the traditional image of the wise old man cutting himself from the world in order to better understand it or understand himself.
As was said above, the meaning of the Hermit tarot card is a quest for knowledge and wisdom. A metaphor for meditation and introspection, the hermit removes as many outside stimuli as they can in order to focus on the matter at hand.
This is also a card that could represent a passive mentor, someone who will show you the way instead of telling you how to walk. The lantern he holds in his hand represents both his own quest for enlightenment, away from the world, and his readiness to share what he has already learned, the lantern acting as a beacon to guide younger and less experienced people to him for a bit of guidance.
With the hermit, you are trying to understand yourself, and to find a deeper meaning to life itself.
Reversed Hermit card meaning
The Hermit tarot card can almost be dangerous when reversed because the quest for understanding and inner enlightenment can soon turn into a trap for the ego. Left to his own devices, the hermit depicted on the major arcana could just as well enter an ego trip and start believing himself better and wiser than the rest of the world, eventually blinding him forever to the end goal of the journey he had come so far on.
Alone Hermit can also be a traitor preparing a coup away from prying eyes. Make sure that you are safe and that none of your friends are about to stab you in the back. Do not use it as an excuse to overthink every decision, however, because you would waste too much time planning everything ahead.
The Fool’s Journey
Growing further into adulthood, the Fool now starts to take a step back on their youthful optimism and boundless energy and drive. They start asking themselves questions about the meaning of life and existence, the reason behind their own actions, and what their place in the world can and should be.
This is a time where experience turns into introspection, and where the Fool learns to listen to their inner voice. This often starts as a drive for solitude (that should not turn into loneliness), which can either make the Fool stronger as an individual, or push them to look for an outside teacher or mentor to help them on their path of wisdom.
The Hermit in love tarot
While the hermit is usually a good card in most drawings, when it appears in a love-based reading it is a pretty bad omen. Indeed, just like the character on the tarot cards, this is a sign that you will most likely spend a little time on your own, with depressing thoughts of loneliness (which could get even worse if the Hermit appeared reversed).
Try to remember the advice of the hermit tarot relationship and just get out of your house for a while. Do not let despair and loneliness clutch your heart because this is the beginning of a vicious cycle, and the later you realize it, the harder it will be for you to set yourself free.
The Hermit as a focus for meditation
The hermit is one of the best major arcana cards for introspective meditation. Just like the character on the picture, try to find some place as empty of any distractions as possible. Light a candle to represent the candle or lantern in the drawing. Try to look straight at the flame for at least 5 seconds (unless you have a serious eye condition). Then close your eyes and see the remnants of the flame still burning their image onto your brain, as if the fire was behind your eyelids. Use it as your new focus point for the end of the exercise.
Try to concentrate on that flame, and then think as hard as you can about the particular question currently bothering you. Try to clear your mind and then fill it back with ideas related to your problems. Choose the one that seems most easily achievable for you (at first) and do it. Once it is done, repeat the process with another goal. If you cannot find a solution right away, do not panic. These things take time, but they are oh so worth it!