The Hermit Artwork Description
“The variation in this card is only that the lamp is not enveloped partially in the mantle of its bearer, who blends the idea of the Ancient of Days with the Light of the World. it is a star which shines in the lantern. I have said that this is a card of attainment, and to extend this idea, the figure is seen holding up his beacon on a high place. Therefore the Hermit is not, as Court de Gebelin explained, a wise man in search of truth and justice; nor is he as a later example of experience. His beacon imitates that ‘where I am you also may be’.” 1
The Hermit Associations
- Alternate Names: Hunchback, [Wise] Old Man, Sage, Time.
- Nine: 9 Ruminate, Prudence.
- Element: Earth.
- Rune: Jera “Year, Harvest”.
- Crystal/Gem: Desert Rose.
- Kabbalah: Yod “Hand”.
- Astrological: Virgo.
- Astronomical: Spica.
The Hermit Basic Meaning
Introspection. Reflection, reminiscence, and meditation. Clarification and enlightenment on the self or a muddled truth. Taking knowledge and experience from both the High Priestess and Hierophant and coming to a mutual thesis. Looking both forwards and backwards in contemplation.
The Hermit Controversies and Observations
A card not of action, but of perception and speculation. A card of acknowledgement and discovery. Exposure of hidden or shadowed things by truth and light.
“He is the Capuchin, and in more philosophical language the Sage or Wise Old Man. He is said to be in search of that Truth which is located far off in the sequence, and of Justice which has preceded him on the way. But this is a card of attainment, as we shall see later, rather than a card of quest. It is said also that his lantern contains the light of occult science and that his staff is a magic wand. These interpretations may be true after their own manner, but they miss all the high things to which the Greater Arcana should be allocated.” 1
“Meaning: Prudence; also and especially treason, dissimulation, roguery, corruption.
Reversed: Concealment, disguise, policy, fear, unreasoned caution.” 1
“Self-analysis; solitary search for the truth; philosophical pursuits; self-reflection; solitude; meditation.” 2
“Basic Tarot Symbols: A robed man or monk carrying a lantern, sometimes in hand, sometimes hanging off a staff. A barren landscape.
Basic Tarot Meaning: Represented by Virgo, the Hermit is a card of introspection, analysis and, well, virginity. This is not a time for socializing; the card indicates, instead, a desire for peace and solitude. Nor is it a time for action, discussion or decisions. It is a time to think, organize, ruminate, and take stock. There may be feelings of frustration and discontent during this time of withdrawal. But such times lead to enlightenment, illumination, clarity.
In regards to people, the Hermit can represents a wise, inspirational person, friend, teacher or therapist, someone the querent usually sees alone, someone the rest of the querent’s friends and family may not know about. This is a person who can shine a light on things that were previously mysterious and confusing. They will help the querent understand themselves or find what it is they are seeking.
Thirteen’s Observations: One of the important things about this card is that the Hermit is almost always shown on the move. He’s never hiding away in his cave. Rather, he’s out wandering, searching. This is apt for the restless mind of a Virgo, always gathering information, analyzing, making connections. Virgos are also known for being the skeptics of the zodiac. If anyone is going to stick a lantern into a dark place and take a good look at what’s going on, it’s a Virgo.
Combined with a desire to just ‘be alone,’ the Hermit indicates a feeling of impatience with people. The querent might be sensitive to having his/her peace disturbed, or express disdain for those who can’t see what they’re seeing (‘Are you blind?’ might be their refrain, or, more typically, ‘You just don’t get it, and I can’t explain it to you.’). They’re likely to be grumpy and anti-social.
For the querent, however, this is a special time. Like an artist who hides away for days then emerges to paint a masterpiece, this quiet time allows all the pieces to fall into place. Their minds are alive, and they can see things they weren’t able to see before. So go ahead and encourage them to take late night drives, long walks, hide in their room or go on retreat for a month. When they come back, they’ll have a new understanding of the world, of their lives, and of themselves. It’ll be the best thing for them, and for everyone else.” 3
Axank’s Dream Recollection
December 19-20, 2011
I had quite a few dreams. One was a battle with a spider as big as my living room, another was me trying to open a fried chicken restaurant in Australia. There were two other dream fragments which I find relevant to this card.
I was at a theme park and a lot of the rides were breaking down. I was up on this hillside and ran by this guy with a sign containing a religious message. We talked and he asked me about God and some beliefs. When I mentioned my relationship with his God, versus my own, his eyes widened and he backed away slowly. This could mean revealing of the truth and coming to confide in your own beliefs as the Hermit aims to do.
Another dream was of me walking through my old church and a few minor things were different architecturally. On of which, was the “apex room” which just had an angled ceiling. I was outside the room behind the door and could hear that they were preparing something behind the door in that room. My assumption was the sacrament, but there was something being hidden from me, that I did not expose and clarify like I had with the guy at the theme park.