The Mysteries of the Hermit: Understanding the Tarot’s Sage

The Hermit is a key card in the Tarot’s Major Arcana. It stands for introspection, wisdom, and spiritual growth. As the ninth card, it comes at an important stage in the Fools’ journey. It represents how necessary personal reflection becomes at such crucial points of transition during the Fool’s journey.

The Hermit Keywords and General Associations

The Hermit invites people to escape the stresses of external life while embarking on an exciting inward journey where immense tools for self-discovery lie waiting to be found—seeking solace in periods of solitude that precede true illumination through one’s inner wisdom.

Upright Keywords:

  • Wisdom
  • Introspection
  • Solitude
  • Spiritual Enlightenment
  • Inner Guidance

Reversed Keywords:

  • Isolation
  • Loneliness
  • Withdrawal
  • Paranoia
  • Fear

The association with the element of Earth in The Hermit, symbolizes traits such as being pragmatic, balanced, and steadfast in one’s beliefs. Alongside this correlation is its link to Mercury – a planetary energy influencing thought processes through analysis and rationality – giving more direction for those seeking knowledge like The Hermit does. 

Finally, we observe another association with the zodiac sign Virgo, signaling a propensity towards reflective thinking while remaining meticulous day-to-day.

The Hermit General

Detailed Description of the Hermit Card

The Hermit card depicts an old man standing alone on a snow-covered mountain, holding a lantern in one hand and a staff in the other. The lantern, containing a six-pointed star, symbolizes the light of wisdom illuminating his path. The staff, a symbol of power and authority, represents the Hermit’s strength and stability.

The hermit
Pamela Colman Smith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The mountain signifies accomplishment and the attainment of spiritual heights, while the snow symbolizes purity and clarity. The Hermit’s grey cloak represents neutrality, suggesting that he has transcended the realm of the black and white, the dualities of the material world. At the same time, his solitary figure stands against a dark sky. This symbolizes the isolation necessary for introspection and self-discovery.

Meaning of the Hermit

The message of The Hermit card is that you should take some time to reflect on yourself and your journey thus far. This means taking time away from the world around you and focusing inwardly to seek understanding about who you are at your core. Truly coming to understand oneself requires looking deeply inside oneself instead of searching for answers externally from sources outside you alone. 

Additionally, The Hermit represents seeking greater wisdom and knowledge towards truth in general regarding life’s meaning or one’s purpose within it. Thus, this card advises taking your journey inwardly in order to grow wiser through introspection. 

While its interpretation will have different variations depending on what specifically pops up in your reading with it, generally expect that it can point towards needing more quiet moments alone or experiencing deep personal transformation according to interpretation.

Interpretation of the Hermit

Tarot reading

When interpreting The Hermit in a tarot reading, both its orientation and surrounding cards play a crucial role. Nevertheless, whether upright or reversed, The Hermit inspires one to contemplate the inner self and pursue inner wisdom.

Upright Hermit

When read in an upright position, The Hermit signals introspection and self-discovery as essential ingredients towards inner growth. During this phase of soul-searching, solitude is crucial while minimizing external stimuli helps keep focus within us.

Love life benefits from these insights by requiring time for oneself to gain clarity on what’s important within a relationship- enlightenment that may also flag-off demands for space or independence.

Career-wise too that wisdom can be applied; The Hermit suggests slowing down work routines to reassess jobs’ alignment with one’s broader motivation and beliefs, ultimately advising reliance on one’s internal guide to achieve productivity.

Reversed Hermit

When reversed, the Hermit represents concepts like solitude, isolation and loneliness. Such an outcome may imply that your sense of belongingness has been hampered by anxiety or fear; tagging you as someone who’s cut off from others around them. Yet most importantly when accompanied by a gentle nudge- this version of The card asks that one faces such truths bravely for their own well-being while choosing to also revive connections and search for emotional healing simultaneously.

For those who are concerned with relationship doubts, a reversed-Hermit often suggests deep-rooted emotional disconnect that has caused them subconsciously staying away from their partner. It is therefore advisable that they build bridges through sharing their feelings openly!

Similarly in work and professional related readings, the reversed Hermit might warn us if feelings such as neglectfulness are revealed- mostly caused when someone feels overwhelmed / lacks job satisfaction amidst mounting stress. Pushing oneself to seek holistic balance alongside a dose of introspection could help tip things back on track .

Comparing and Contrasting The Hermit with The High Priestess and The Moon

Understanding a tarot card in depth often involves comparing and contrasting it with other cards in the deck. This can help to highlight its unique qualities and deepen our understanding of its symbolism.

Compared with The High Priestess

The Hermit and The High Priestess share a common theme of introspection and inner wisdom. Both cards suggest a need for solitude and self-reflection, and both encourage us to seek answers within ourselves. However, while The Hermit represents a conscious, active search for wisdom and understanding, The High Priestess represents intuitive, subconscious knowledge that comes from within. In addition, he Hermit seeks wisdom through introspection and self-analysis. On the other hand, The High Priestess embodies wisdom that is innate and instinctual.

Compared with The Moon

The Hermit and The Moon both represent journeys into the unknown, but they approach this journey in different ways. The Hermit represents a journey of introspection and self-discovery, where we seek to illuminate our path with the light of our own wisdom. 

The Moon, on the other hand, represents a journey into the subconscious, where we confront our fears and illusions in order to find the truth. While The Hermit seeks clarity and understanding, The Moon represents the confusion and uncertainty that often precede enlightenment.

The Hermit in Specific Contexts

The hermit
Lequart (Paris), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hermit’s interpretation can vary greatly depending on the type of reading and the specific question asked. It’s important to consider the context of the reading and the position of the card in the spread when interpreting its meaning.

Yes-no readings

The Hermit Yes or No

The Hermit tarot card often implies a negative response when interpreted in a yes-no context. Nevertheless, the interpretation of this outcome ought not always mean a definite no, but rather serve as an indication for taking pause and reflecting on what lies ahead. 

The Hermit teaches us about the importance of cultivating self-awareness through introspection before making any critical life-changing decisions. Suppose you’re seeking guidance regarding accepting or declining a job offer; In that case, the card suggests looking inward before taking any action by giving yourself ample time for reflection so that you may assess if such opportunities align with your core beliefs.

It’s a call to look inward and seek guidance from your inner wisdom before making a decision.

Love readings

The Hermit Love

When seeking insight about matters of the heart through tarot readings, the Hermit represents an opportunity for self-discovery and contemplation. The card encourages one to reflect thoughtfully on their relationship and corresponding emotions; this time spent examining oneself can further aid in personal growth. 

For single individuals, pulling this card can prompt spending valuable solo time getting better acquainted with one’s self before heading into any potentially romantic entanglements. 

Contemplating The Hermit’s message holds significance even if already in an existing partnership; taking breaks from one another or prioritizing individual pursuits helps preserve independence while still honoring commitments made as a couple. Heightening self-awareness allows individuals in any sort of romantic union to synchronise more closely with shared values so they both grow together harmoniously over time.

Work readings

The appearance of the Hermit card during a work related reading signals an urgent need for introspection and self-assessment. It may indicate that taking some time out from work to contemplate whether it aligns with your genuine motives and principles would prove beneficial. 

The Hermit advocates for seeking guidance within ourselves instead of relying heavily on external approval. It’s crucial to reorient our career around personal values, paving your way towards gratification through meaningful objectives.

Key Card Combinations with the Hermit

The Hermit’s meaning can be influenced by the other cards that appear in a reading. Here are a few key card combinations and how they might alter the interpretation of the Hermit.

The Hermit and the Seven of Wands

Seven of Wands

The combination of the Hermit and the Seven of Wands suggests a need for introspection and self-defense. It may indicate that you are feeling challenged or threatened and that you need to stand your ground and defend your beliefs. 

The Hermit encourages you to reflect on your values and principles and to stand up for what you believe in. This combination calls for inner strength and conviction in the face of adversity.

The Hermit and the High Priestess


The Hermit and the High Priestess together suggest a deep journey into the subconscious. This combination encourages introspection, intuition, and spiritual exploration. It suggests that the answers you seek lie within you. Therefore, you need to trust your intuition and inner wisdom. 

This combination calls for a deep dive into your inner world. It encourages you to uncover hidden truths and tap into your intuitive powers.

The Hermit and the Moon


The Hermit and the Moon together suggest a journey into the unknown. This combination encourages introspection, self-discovery, and the exploration of hidden truths. 

It suggests that you may need to confront your fears and illusions in order to find the truth. This combination calls for courage and determination in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Hermit

What does the Hermit represent in a tarot reading?

The Hermit represents introspection, wisdom, and the search for inner truth. It encourages us to retreat from the world and embark on a journey of self-discovery.

What does the Hermit mean in a love reading?

In a love reading, the Hermit often suggests a need for solitude or introspection. It may indicate a time to reflect on your relationship and your feelings. 

If you’re single, it might suggest that you need to spend some time getting to know yourself better before entering a relationship.

If you’re in a relationship, it might suggest a need for space or independence or a period of self-discovery within the relationship.

What does the Hermit suggest in a career reading?

In a career reading, the Hermit often indicates a need for introspection and self-evaluation. 

It may suggest that you need to take a step back from your work, reflect on your career path, and consider whether it aligns with your true purpose. 

The Hermit encourages you to seek wisdom and guidance from within, rather than relying solely on external validation.

How does the Hermit interact with other cards in the tarot deck?

The Hermit’s meaning can be influenced by the other cards that appear in a reading. For instance, when combined with the Seven of Wands, it suggests a need for introspection and self-defense. 

With the High Priestess, it suggests a deep journey into the subconscious. And with the Moon, it suggests a journey into the unknown.

Last thoughts on the Hermit

In the Tarot deck, The Hermit is a card that signifies strength and depth; it represents pondering, sagacity as well as inner exploration. It advocates for seclusion instead of socializing so that people can focus on themselves and embark on their personal voyages of self-discovery. 

Whether it features in any of your readings – be it love-related or work-related- The Hermit unfailingly motivates you to explore your internal self for solutions. And in doing so one should also keep their wisdom lit like a torch since the path ahead may be dark and unknown. 

While maneuvering along with The Hermit we learn to confide more in our intuitive selves, appreciate ourselves better on what makes us unique and identify all that lay dormant within.

Learn the Tarot with Online Flash Cards

Are you looking to dive into the world of tarot and master the meaning of each card? You should check out our post, “Learn The Tarot Cards – Online Flash Cards” by our own Tarot expert Ersa Fay. With interactive flash cards covering all 78 cards in the tarot, both the Minor and Major Arcana, you will learn key facts and the symbolism and meanings associated with each card. 

By using these flash cards, you’ll become more comfortable with performing your own readings and enhance your journey into the world of tarot. 

In the post, Ersa focuses on the iconic Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, known for its rich imagery and profound symbolism. The captivating illustrations in this deck draw from various sources such as mythology, astrology, alchemy, and the Kabbalah, creating a visual language that resonates deeply with the human psyche. So, if you’re ready to start learning, don’t miss out on this fantastic resource. We hope you find it useful and remember to have fun with it!

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Maria Figueroa

Maria is a multifaceted individual who wears the hats of a professional astrologer, licensed psychologist, tarot reader, and angel number enthusiast. Since 2019, she has dedicated herself to writing horoscopes and articles on a variety of topics, including spiritual growth, mental health, and self-development. Her insightful writings reflect her deep understanding of the spiritual and psychological realms, providing valuable guidance to her readers. In addition to her writing, Maria also runs a private practice where she combines her expertise in psychology with her intuitive abilities. She uses her knowledge of astrology, tarot, and angel numbers to help individuals unlock their hidden potential and navigate through life's challenges. Her unique approach blends her psychological training with her spiritual insights, allowing her to provide holistic support to her clients. Through her work, Maria connects with people from all walks of life, offering personalized birth chart readings, helping individuals overcome personal obstacles, and sharing her wisdom through enlightening articles. Her goal is to empower others by providing them with the tools and insights they need to lead fulfilling lives and embark on their own spiritual journeys. A lover of astrology, tarot and numerology, Maria embraces the mystical and symbolic aspects of life and uses these powerful tools to deepen her understanding and connection with the Divine. Her unique combination of skills allows her to provide guidance and inspiration to those seeking a greater sense of purpose and direction.