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The Hermit

A description and interpretation of the role of The Hermit in the Tarot

In a nutshell...


  • introspection

  • loneliness


General overview

Coming after Strength, the Hermit is arcana VIIII of the Tarot. Often misunderstood by the uninitiated, this deeply mysterious card represents a mature man with a long white beard and long hair. These traditional attributes, of course, represent the great wisdom of the character. The Hermit is standing, his gaze turned to the right; that is to say, to the future.

In an active but controlled way, he seems to be walking at his own pace along the road that leads to knowledge. After all, no need to hurry, since everything comes to those who wait! The slowness of his steps also testifies to his extreme caution. Don't misunderstand me: the Hermit knows where he wants to go, but also knows very well the dangers of excessive zeal and precipitation, sources of errors and remorse.

The three deep wrinkles on his forehead are, of course, due to his advanced age. They also evoke the profound reflection he likes to undertake so he can make progress on the path of life, because intellectual effort often goes hand in hand with personal development. Looking more closely, it is easy to see that these three wrinkles suggest the shape of a triangle, located at the 3rd eye level. Some will see this as a sign that the Hermit has learned to master the three levels of consciousness.

The dark blue coat worn by the character recalls his humble and discreet temperament, while the red robe recalls his penchant for action. The lantern he carries in his left hand is a reference to his role as guide, which he fills to perfection, but also of his progress on the path of initiation. His stick is not in any way a symbol of power. It is simply an aid for walking. The Hermit advances by keeping in touch with his foundations, both spiritually and materially.

Solitude is the country of the strong.


  • from an emotional viewpoint

    In love, the Hermit often testifies to the existence or emergence of a lasting relationship, one that is not simply built on passionate impulse, but patiently maintained by tenderness, understanding and dialogue. In other draws, this arcana can also invite the seeker to take a step back from their romantic relationship, so as to better identify their deepest needs and solve the possible problems slowing their search for fulfillment.

  • from a career viewpoint

    The Hermit has an extremely positive symbolism when it comes to professional life. It reflects the selflessness and determination of the seeker, two qualities that will allow them to face obstacles and never forget the goals they have set. While this constant involvement can sometimes prove time-consuming, it is also the ideal tool for anyone who wishes to positively influence their career path.

  • from a life path viewpoint

    Drawing on his many experiences, the Hermit teaches the virtue of patience. There is no point in rushing at the slightest opportunity or changing direction all the time. It's better to think over each decision carefully and agree to stick to it. Although he may at first sight seem undecided the Hermit quickly reveals he is very constant. This is a fundamentally constructive quality, from the point of view of love, profession or finances.

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    Its influence

    • short-term

      The influence of the Hermit in the short term takes the form of awareness. Today, an obstacle is preventing you from moving forward and it is high time to consider yourself and think about the solutions to implement. To do that, don't be afraid to dive deep inside your soul and sort out any tangles you have not yet resolved.

    • long-term

      In the long run, the Hermit teaches you to be in tune with your deepest desires. So never let yourself be led onto a path that doesn't suit you. Instead, learn to refocus on yourself as soon as you face a difficult situation and set your priorities. Also keep in mind that patience has many virtues. It will prevent you from rushing and regretting choices taken too impulsively.

    Full interpretation

    Interpretation of The Hermit upright

    A number of seekers are taken aback when they are faced with the Hermit. Referring to loneliness and withdrawal, even to a certain form of asceticism, it is natural enough that the character creates questions. But in fact it's not about thinking of this card as being cut off from the world and its realities, but about learning to appreciate its capacities of understanding and research. The Hermit does not withdraw temporarily inside himself out of fear of others or misanthropy, he simply knows the benefits of self-analysis.

    His goal is simple: to solve the riddle of his psychological makeup by decrypting repeated behavior that suggests a blockage. It is not uncommon for the daily routine to make you forget your deepest priorities and distance yourself from your real needs. Taking some time to think can be particularly fruitful for anyone who wants to develop. Very often, blockages take root in childhood. They may also be the result of more recent traumas, especially in the event of the breakup of a love affair that you haven't really recovered from, a recent job loss or the loss of a loved one. While it is perfectly normal that these elements of the past have left their mark on the life of the seeker, it is just as natural to want to lessen their scars. And to reduce their impact, nothing is more effective than looking them squarely in the eyes.

    Interpretation of The Hermit reversed

    When drawn upside down, the Hermit can refer to two different situations. It will, of course, be necessary to analyze all the cards of the draw to interpret it in the most accurate sense. In the first case, the reversed Hermit testifies to the extreme withdrawal of the seeker. At this point, the time for reflection is turning into a period of real doubt. Inaction and constant rehashing of the past become too large a part of everyday life. This situation can be dangerous, in that it resembles some of the symptoms of depression. When slowness becomes inertia, the life path of the seeker is momentarily halted at a red light. Although the situation is difficult for the moment, their life force will wake up again, sooner or later. Every obstacle can be overcome.

    On the other hand, in the second case, the Hermit drawn reversed indicates that the seeker hasn't bothered to do any internal housekeeping for a long time. Their actions are just habits; the risk being that those actions no longer accord with the seeker's real desires. The most important thing will be to stop this headlong dash, so as to discover the true meaning of life.