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The Hermit - Tarot Card Meaning

Updated: May 8

The Hermit card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot reminds you of everything you have learned and accomplished so far in life and how this has equipped you for the challenges ahead. Take responsibility for stepping back and dreaming big, and then putting actionable steps in place to move forward. Remember that your path is unique and may look different from those others have trodden.

The Hermit Major Arcana Tarot Card - Various Examples

Upright Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

In the upright position, The Hermit card reminds you that you have come a long way and learned a lot. You have earned the right to decide what is best for you. Don’t listen to others, listen to your inner voice. You know what you need and what you are capable of.

Reversed Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

In the reversed position, The Hermit suggests that you are either acting without thinking or that you are overthinking and this is paralyzing your ability to act. In either case, you need to resolve your inner dialogue to break the cycle and move forward.

Number - 9

The Hermit is linked with the number 9, which represents things coming full circle and reaching completion. The number 9 represents the end of something, but ends are also beginnings. Completion is not always easy, when you have structured your life around something, it can be hard to let go. But remember that endings are also beginnings, and you need to let go of what no longer serves you to make room for something new.

Element - Earth

The Hermit card is linked with the Earth element. This is a grounding element that reminds you to keep your feet firmly on the ground in what you can do, but your head in the clouds contemplating what is possible. This represents the way we should set big scary goals and dream big but focus on taking small manageable steps along the journey.

Planet – Mercury

The planet Mercury rules the Hermit card and is also the planet of communication. In this case, it links to clarity of vision. It suggests that you have all the wisdom that you need inside of yourself, but you need to work on analyzing it and structuring it into something meaningful.

The Hermit - Tarot Card Description

While The Hermit card appears differently in different decks, most pull on the symbology represented in the Rider Waite deck.

The card shows an older man standing at the top of a mountain. The mountain represents the path that the man has already trodden, the knowledge that he has gained along the way, and what he has accomplished. It is his inner wisdom.

He holds a lantern, which contains a six-pointed star, which is the Seal of Solomon, which represents deep spiritual and mystical wisdom. The star lights the path ahead, but only a few steps, not the complete path. The Hermit must take the risk of moving forward to establish what comes next.

But he is equipped for the task with the staff that he holds in the other hand which represents power, wisdom, and authority.

Read our profile of Odin as the god of wisdom and his ravens Huginn and Muninn.

The Hermit - Upright Tarot Card Meaning

The Hermit card in the upright position often suggests that now is the time to turn inwards. It will often appear when you are being overrun by the demands of day-to-day life and you are neglecting your inner world and spiritual growth. Perhaps you are moving forward mindlessly and need to reevaluate and refocus.

This card suggests that you have already put in the work that you need to make the decisions that sit in front of you. The best thing you can do is turn inward and spend time considering what matters to you to make a decision. Now is not the time to ask for popular opinion.

The Hermit reminds you that you are on a unique path that only you can define. While others may have done similar things to you, your way forward will be unique. Learn from others, but know that you will have to discover your own way of doing things.

We often think that our options are limited and that we must choose between A and B, even if neither is what we really want. But this is a failure of imagination. All things are possible, you just have to be bold enough to dream, and practical enough to create a way forward.

What to do?

When The Hermit card appears upright in a Tarot reading, it usually means that you need to do some self-reflecting. While action is important, sometimes the act of self-reflection is the most important thing you can do. Remember that you need to find your own path forward and it may look very different to what other people have done before.

The Hermit - Reversed Tarot Card Meaning

The Hermit card reversed can indicate either that you are not spending enough time in your head, or you are spending too much!

It is easy to get caught up in life’s day-to-day challenges and fall into automatic mode and act without really thinking if what you are doing is what you want and what is best for you. The Hermit can warn you that you have fallen into this trap and that you should take some time out to rethink.

But it can also suggest that you are spending too much time in your head overthinking and overanalyzing and turning small setbacks into major problems. You may be making issues seem insurmountable and fueling emotional instability.

Taking small active steps to resolve issues can help you realize what you are capable of. Remember, you do not need to resolve all of your problems in one mighty swoop. Start with the things that you have the power to change and see where that takes you.

What to do?

The Hermit card reversed in a Tarot reading usually means that you are either overthinking or underthinking. You probably know which one. Whichever trap you are stuck on, it is time to break the cycle. Take a break and step back from doing without thinking, or stop stewing over things you can’t change and start focusing on the things that you can control.

The Hermit Tarot Reading

When The Hermit shows up in a Tarot reading it is because you have reached an important goal and you are ready to start setting a new path. It encourages you to be bold in what you dream and to back this up with actionable steps to start your journey. Don’t let others try and direct you, your experience has prepared you for this moment.

It can also be a warning that you are either acting without thinking and need to spend more time in self-reflection, or that you are overthinking and turning minor issues into major problems. You need to restore the equilibrium of your inner compass.

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