Continuing our series on the meanings of the Tarot imagery, we pick up again this week with the Hermit, representing soul-searching, introspection and seeking guidance.
The bearded Hermit stands atop a mountain, alone with his lantern representing illumination and enlightenment. Within the lamp burns a six-pointed star, the Seal of Solomon signifying the union of the upper and lower realms. The snow-capped mountains at his feet show the Hermit’s accomplishment: he has reached the apex of spiritual achievement. He carries a tall, phallic staff indicate his patriarchal authority and power over material forces.
The Hermit is shrouded in gray robes, his hood drawn, his beard hiding his face, all indicating that his secrets are hidden from the unworthy. The Hermit is shown here seeking in the darkness, searching for answers and looking for meaning.
When the Hermit appears in readings, it indicates a time of introspection. It’s time to look within and determine to listen to your inner voice. Ignore the noise of the outer world, disregard the advice of others, and instead, find some quiet time to be with yourself. You are entering a period of soul-searching, where you will naturally yearn for answers to the deeper questions of life. It’s healthy to contemplate the existential questions such as why are you here? What is your purpose? What is reality? And what is the purpose of life itself? While these questions may be heady and abstract, they are actually the biggest mysteries at the heart of our existence. Considering these deeper questions will bring you illumination.
The Hermit has risen above worldly concerns. He stands above the mountains, almost above the clouds themselves, because he has transcended the mundane worries of everyday life and death. He has achieved a spiritual understanding that supersedes the ups and downs of living.
In reverse, the Hermit indicates isolation, withdrawal and loneliness. A reversed Hermit is someone who has become lost in a black hole of self-reflection. Someone who is withdrawn, non-communicative and lost in their own thoughts is a classic example of a reversed Hermit.
Ultimately, the Hermit represents quality time spent in silent contemplation that is productive in helping you achieve understanding about the nature of your existence itself. It’s not a period to wallow in self-pity and sadness, but a time to seek understanding for life’s great mysteries.