The Hermit

The Hermit Tarot Card Meaning

Kerry Ward

The Hermit is quite a literal card and suggests it’s time to look within for answers, to retreat from the busy, noisy world and take a time out to reflect and analyse events and information to come to a more enlightened position.

We are all bombarded by information, opinion, emotion, and noise every hour of every day, such is the communication technology prevalent in our world now. It’s hard to know what you really think sometimes, but it’s important to carve out time to get to that place, to think independently and form your own ideas and values. The Hermit is the task master of this process.

Think, consider, reflect, analyse, meditate, ruminate, fact check, research, ideate, challenge, question… and ultimately conclude. The Hermit is the pathway to enlightenment, which takes work, focus and effort.

The Hermit can be a signal for teaching, whether that is taking that career route yourself or seeking some kind of formal education. You may benefit from seeking a mentor, coach or tutor right now. You may want to carve out time to do some informal learning. You may just need a new reading list. Look at the stimulus you take in on a daily basis and maybe add or remove some sources, shake it up, look at the unpopular opinion, look at the sources behind the sources. Be thorough.

The Hermit is associated with personal development in that you are taking back your own power, you are starting to rely on your own critical thinking skills and ideas, rather than being buffered by a ‘who shouts the loudest’ competition. Your studies and internal soul searching can yield unique, individual and powerful positions or thoughts. In this noisy, corrupt, and polarised world, we all need to take a leaf from The Hermit’s book and do our research, fact check our sources, and reach our own conclusions.

Tarotoo card

Reversed meaning: The Hermit’s shadow side is about too much isolation and withdrawal. There has to be a balance here, both in being comfortable in your own company and opinion but also being open to the world to let new inputs enter the frame, otherwise you end up just living in your own head. There can also be a warning about cultivating intellectual blind spots, deliberately ignoring information which contradicts a favoured opinion or ideology. Be led by fact, not feeling.

Astrological significance: Virgo is the tarot talisman of The Hermit and this matches up the precision, perceptiveness, and cleverness of this card. Virgo always wants to know, understand, deconstruct in order to reconstruct. Virgo is a seeker, a purist, a perfectionist and has the cleverness (and pedantry) to keep pushing until truth is found.

The Saturn Return also crops up as a link as Saturn is often represented as an old man. This shadows the taskmaster nature of The Hermit, it’s time to get your head down, get serious, and understand all the complexities and contradictions of the issue. It’s time to grow up. It’s time to step from being the child with all the questions to the adult with the answers.

Virgo is a mutable sign which reflects the open-mindedness and willingness to change opinions (based on new information) of The Hermit. This is not a dogmatic or ideological character, this is a purist of truth and knowledge.

Virgo is linked to super-smart, quicksilver, info-hounding Mercury which is, relatively, close to Earth (unlike the outer planets) so its influence is fairly fast and furious- days possibly weeks, rather than months and years. Virgo season starts at the end of August and lasts until the end of September, which may be when this card’s influence unfolds.

Numerological significance: The number 9 represents old souls, philanthropists, philosophers, humanitarians and artists. It is the last of the numbers, before the master numbers, so this is about reading a pinnacle or plateau of knowledge and understanding. It can be a strong signal to seek wisdom through experience and education. Time to get enlightened, time to wake up, time to let the scales fall from your eyes and see the story-so-far as it really is.

Key actions:

  • Take a solo trip or even holiday and go someplace quiet, isolated and stimulating to think and meditate. A mountain-top, cave, or woodland! Be in nature and reflect on your life cycles and lessons.
  • Take a course, attend a lecture, listen to a new podcast, study a topic that fascinates you.
  • Take on a mentor, coach or counsellor.
  • Have therapy or counselling, if you have been considering this. Now is a great time to start this process and look within.
  • Soul search!
  • Talk to family and friends about what you were like and how you behaved when you were younger. Get to know your younger selves and see the trajectory of growth and change throughout your life. Look back to understand how you got here.
  • Create a quite space in your home for you to think, read, and daydream. Make a beautiful spot by the window that’s quiet and cosy.
  • Read up on philosophy, religion, and psychology. Look to the ancient and cultural models of how humans have tried to find meaning in life and their existence on this planet.
  • Get your birth chart drawn up and figure out your planetary influencers and how they shape your personality.
  • Carve out time and space in your busy weekly schedule to simply be alone, able to think, mindfully walk or exercise, and just breathe deeply and without noise or interference.

Yes / no meaning: This is a ‘NO’, not in a negative or warning way but in a ‘pause’ way. The Hermit is introspective, passive, and still. He doesn’t take in or on new commitments or burdens, he is dealing with what’s already on his plate. Look at your decision more closely and seek some self awareness about it, seek to understand WHY you’re considering this. Don’t make any major changes.