The Hermit

IX: The Hermit

solitude experience stillness withdrawal

Time for meditation, for looking inward bringing light into darkness, the unconscious, watching the dreams. Here we have loneliness, active or passive isolation to connect the higher spiritual self - a communication between spiritual heaven and material earth. A wise leader, finding one's own light, bringing things to completion, time to harvest, the fruitfulness. We only can reach this maturity with caution and patience, with readiness to reflect upon the "dark side of the moon". There is an opportunity to build solid foundations if one is willing to wait. Finally there is a deep respect for own limitations in the great passage of the rounds of time.
Inverse: Estrangement, abandonment.



  • Becoming or seeking out a guru.
  • Going on a retreat.
  • Recharging spiritual or creative batteries.
  • Lighting the way for those with less experience.
  • Stepping back to gain perspective.
  • Shadow

    • Being a loner.
    • Fearing contact with others.
    • Becoming a know-it-all.
    • Inflating claims of expertise.
    • Hiding your skills and talents out of fear of unworthiness.
    • Symbolism

      The raised lantern

      A raised lantern has long suggested knowledge: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Here, the lantern shows the way to higher knowledge. What information do you need to bring to light today?

      The Star of David

      This hexagram is a symbol of Judaism and is also called the Seal of Solomon. It combines the symbols for water and fire, suggesting the union of male and female energies. How might faith unify those involved in your situation?

      The staff

      This incarnation of the scepter suggests a different use of power, recalling the staff of Moses. Instead of symbolizing power or intention, it facilitates progress. What support do you need today?

      The remote setting

      The work of the Hermit requires isolation; he is usually drawn in a remote locale, emphasizing themes of withdrawal. What might happen if everyone in your situation backed off a bit?

      The robes

      The robes suggest the Hermit's status as an initiate or member of an esoteric order. Are you a member of a group that could prove helpful now?

      The Hermit's Advice


      • Don't be afraid of being alone.
      • Even the closest companions need some time apart.
      • Being involved in a partnership does not eliminate your need to be your own person.
      • To better please others, first learn how to please yourself.


      • Sometimes, you have to close the door, forward calls to voice mail, and shut down your email client to get things done.
      • Demand the space and time you need to get your assignment done.
      • If you're overwhelmed, consider bringing in a consultant or an experienced aid.


      • Learn to be still.
      • Doing so is a challenge in today's hurly-burly world, but the skill offers many benefits.
      • Focus on meditation; condition yourself to slow your thoughts and lower your blood pressure with a few measured breaths.
      • Daily practice will make a huge difference in the quality of your life.

      Personal Growth

      • To be the best you can be, you must know who you really are.
      • Reject the definitions others project on you.
      • Search within.
      • What do you really value?
      • What do you really want to achieve?
      • Empower yourself by embracing yourself, warts and all.

      Fortune Telling

      • A period of loneliness begins.
      • One partner in a relationship departs.
      • A search for love or money proves fruitless.


      • Between August 23 and September 22

      Questions to ask

      • What would happen if I simply withdrew and took no action?
      • How can I get some perspective on the situation?
      • Who has walked this path before me? How can I enlist his or her help?

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      Major Arcana

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      Parts of this page's description of the The Hermit tarot card are taken from "A Guide to Tarot Card Meanings" by Mark McElroy.