The Hermit

Short description: introspection, searching, guidance, contemplation.

Astrological utensils: Virgo

Number: 9

The Hermit is pictured as an old man, clothed in a gray mantle with a hood, who has tilted his head above the road. The man holds a lantern in the raised hand. Inside a lantern we can see a shining star that lights his path. In his other hand, the Hermit is holding a golden staff that helps him continue his path despite the tiredness and complexity of his way. The man is slouched because he is tired of work and worries, but he still remains calm, standing on the top of a mountain, surrounded by other mountains.

The Hermit means giving up the desire for material and physical goods, appealing to the mind and the soul. What good can a man gain from numerous physical and material goods or even the whole world, if  in the course of obtaining it he loses his soul? It would seem a simple truth but sometimes, in order to understand it a person needs a whole life and that is why the Hermit depicted on this card is old. Only now, he really entered the purest of the ways – the path of knowledge, the path of the Tao and the Buddha. His eyes are usually closed in order to see the light of Truth, he no longer needs earthly sight. Hence the name of this card in the Egyptian Tarot is The Inner Light. However, the Hermit could achieve this only after many searches and temptations. If he had not had a golden staff, he probably would not have reached the top but now he does not need a staff anymore thanks to the wisdom, experience, and knowledge he gained on his path.

What is its meaning? This card is associated with loneliness and contemplation – it means that at this time a spiritual journey is very important in your life. Drawing this card out of the deck means that soon you will probably meet someone who will become your spiritual guide, and will be able to show you the new opportunities for growth and gaining a higher level of consciousness. In addition, this card means your willingness to accept the help that you are offered. However, it requires you to be patient because the spiritual path is long, difficult, and there are no quick answers or easy decisions on it. Use your insight and intuition to move forward, and trust the light and wisdom of your inner guide.

What if the card is inverted? It means that you reject leadership and good advice that others offer. It seems that you do not want to enrich yourself with new experiences – you are too resistant or creating obstacles on your way; your pride and ego hinder spiritual development.

Among other meanings of this card we can also highlight a guidance and wisdom, a time of withdrawal and stillness to meditate and reflect. The Hermit’s knowledge is of both this world and the next. He is the enlightened teacher who patiently waits for those students who are ready to seek him out. He is the sage to whom others look for advice. He realizes that he can never possibly know all there is to know. What he knows is but a drop of water in the vast sea of universal knowledge. It is a time of maturity and sorting out what really matters in your life. A search for self-understanding.

What does this card tell about different aspects of your live


Time for reflection, when we must finally find out what we want in the work plan. These reflections can lead to a revision of all previous ideas about success, recognition, prestige, demand, money, and the sphere of interests. And, in any case, they lead us to a better understanding of our true needs and our true vocation. Realizing this, we not only strengthen ourselves in spirit, but also gain a deep inner confidence, thanks to which we can now slowly but surely approach the realization of our new goal. Sometimes, the Hermit personifies the work itself, then he reminds us that seriousness, calmness, balance of actions, and self-reliance within the limited finances give more satisfaction than participation in group events of the notorious consumer society.


This card shows that we renounce the world in order to free ourselves from other people’s opinions and return to our original “I” again. Therefore, the Hermit often means a certain period, from a few days to a whole vacation, when we run away from others to concentrate on some problem, work fruitfully or just give ourselves a break to let the understanding come by itself. Often during such periods of rest, it is recommended to abstain from everything, observe a vow of silence, meditations or other spiritual practices and, as a result of this work, a person becomes wiser, gains strength, courage, and determination.

Love and Relationships

In this sphere, this card has a double meaning. It can indicate loneliness. However, its main point here is also deep understanding, understanding of our true needs and our true vocation in partnership. Often it marks a transition to more mature forms of love, to voluntary renunciation of one or another purely selfish requirements for the sake of preserving and strengthening couples, union, marriage.

Or it can also tell you that the understanding that the ability to do without each other is one of the most important conditions for the strength and durability of the union.

Other interpretations

  • Astrological correspondences: Virgo and Mercury. Saturn as the lord of time and mentor.
  • Kabbalistic meaning: wisdom.
  • Occult meaning: the top of something, the roof.
  • Physical meaning: caution.
  • Places: deserts; place of voluntary solitude; the office of a scientist, an artist; the place of departure of a religious ritual not sanctioned by the dominant religion.