The Meaning of The Hermit [Card 9]


The Meaning of The Hermit Tarot

At a Glance

The Hermit Card #9 represents humility, the light of knowledge, and the constant seeking of wisdom.

If You Drew This Card…

Tarot cards offer a range of meanings to draw insight from. Both negative and positive aspects of each card can resonate with various aspects of your life.

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Upright

  • What big or deep questions do you have on your mind, and has anything happened recently that caused these questions to surface?
  • Where do you go to focus on these deep questions? The Hermit holds a lamp and a staff; what accoutrements help you to focus?
  • Have you been focusing on the external, for example, preoccupied with a landscaping project or a messy house? Try finding a focused and relaxed place within.

Reversed

  • Do you find yourself ignoring friends and avoiding social gatherings because you feel your time is better spent studying or meditating on deeper projects of your own? Consider taking a break from your hermetic lifestyle and partake in some good, rabble-rousing fun with new or old friends.
  • Do you feel split: on the one hand, you feel wise, but on the other, you feel stuck at an impasse, uncreative, and stunted? Go into a new experience that, though daunting, could leave you feeling inspired.
  • Are you looking at your feet only to ignore what else is in your vicinity? Look up and you may be surprised by what you see.

Interpreting the Symbols

  • Lamp : The light of knowledge in contrast to the shadows of ignorance. Wisdom and devotion to uncovering truth.
  • Staff : The search for wisdom is a life-long journey.
  • Cloak : Focus on inner values rather than superficial aestheticism.
  • Sky : The misty sky represents the importance of mental agility despite a potentially bleak political or social landscape.
  • Beard : Patience, old age, and kindness.
  • Snow : Faith in oneself despite a lack of outside affirmation. Perseverance and trust.

Charmaine’s Take

The Hermit card depicts the classic image of the hermit, or sage, holding a lantern. The sage is an old man with a bushy white beard. He wears a gray, hooded shroud and holds a tall, golden colored staff. Below him the ground is covered in snow, and the sky is a greyish blue denoting winter. He is looking down and his head is bowed forward toward the light--perhaps he feels the warmth of the lantern on his face. This card is not belabored with symbols: there is the lantern, a staff, and the hermit, or sage.

The Hermit lives alone and has much time to contemplate the big existential questions in life: “who am i,” “what is the meaning of life” and “what is the meaning of death” for example. Because this card is not burdened by many symbols, because the Hermit is in such a quiet place without distractions, he is able to thoroughly meditate upon these great questions. Because it is winter, even the natural environment is conducive to his studiousness: there are no tweeting birds, proliferating bunnies, or wildly colored flowers to distract him.

The lamp he holds represents the light of knowledge. Inside of it is a six-pointed star; through the light of knowledge he will gain a cosmic understanding surpassing that of the everyday sensibility. The staff helps keep The Hermit grounded and steady while he delves deep into these intuitive, mental realms. Because of the richness and focus of his interior life, The Hermit is not bothered by the cold, winter wilderness surrounding him. His warmth comes from within and from having lived a full life up to this point. He does not seek connection with others, although he is not opposed to it. He will greet whoever comes along his path with kindness and curiosity.

Also, The Hermit is humble. He bows his head down to the light of knowledge because he knows that he will never have all the answers. However, this does not stop him from seeking wisdom; his study is sacred.

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