The Hermit

A lone tree in the fog                                             Mary’s Peak                                                                  Oregon, USA

Keywords: solitude, alone time, withdrawing from society, rest, soul-searching, introspection, reflection, inner wisdom, inner guidance,self-knowledge, culmination, totality, preparation for the next step

Reversed: extroversion, superficiality, blocked reflection, loneliness, avoiding society, denial of self-awareness, refusing inner-wisdom, busy, stressed, over-worked

Associated Minor card:
IV of Swords

Read my experience with The Hermit during Biddy Tarot’s Soul Meditations here.



The Hermit removes herself from society.  It appears that she is wandering off into isolation, but that is actually not the case at all.  There is deep purpose here, a determination in her slow stride. She is on a personal mission, making a conscious decision to remove herself from the stimuli and distractions of the world.  On her own she can rely upon her inner guidance, all that she has learned, experienced and observed up until this point.  She is full of wisdom.


The Hermit       Shadowscapes Tarot

When The Hermit shows up in a reading, know that you need to withdraw from society in order to spend some time in reflection, meditation, and conscious exploration of your inner wisdom. You will make the time and effort to clear your schedule, The Hermit will help you with that if you won’t help yourself. Obstacles to peaceful alone time will resolve themselves and you must take that offering.

This quiet time alone is what it takes to process fully what has come before.  You are at a pinnacle, you are at a culmination, and you need to let it alllllllll sink in. The Hermit is an end point after a long, beautiful journey.  At the end of that journey you are transformed through the calm integration of all of the myriad experiences of the journey.  In order to let the Wheel of Fortune spin you into a new cycle of existence, into whatever comes next, you first must pause to understand and process where you are at now.

The Hermit understands herself.  She understands how her mind, body, heart, and spirit operate.  She knows the reason why she does the things she does, and she knows the things about herself and other people that she definitely does not understand.  It doesn’t all have to make sense, she must simply trust in herself and the Universe.  It all happens for a reason sure, but it is likely an unknowable reason.  The Hermit’s spirituality is infinite, anything is possible, and we have no idea what that anything might hold or why it might all happen the way it does.

When The Hermit shows up in a reading, take a quiet time out.  It could be a silent drive to work when you usually listen to the news.  It could be a half hour peacefully looking at a tree or a candle instead of reading or watching TV before bed.  A long meditation on your breathe, a solitary hike in the woods, a week away on silent retreat- anything that makes you feel like a Hermit.  Channel this energy now to bring greater self awareness.  You will find answers from within that you have been seeking without.

The Hermit reversed:

The Hermit                  Rider Waite Smith deck

The need for solitude is unmet, unavailable, or denied when The Hermit shows up in reverse.  Perhaps you want greatly to spend time alone, but things keep cropping up that are out of your control to prevent and somehow only you can handle them.  Ask yourself what would happen if you just unplugged, if you were unreachable, if you were unavailable in a crisis.  Would someone else step up?  Would it end up not even being a crisis, but just a hiccup?  Would the world end if you weren’t there to save it? The answer is likely no.

Clear your schedule, turn off your phone, computer, all of it, even the lights.  You need to decompress and you are not allowing it.  That will only lead to a build up of stress which can cause all kinds of health problems. Just 5 minutes of peaceful meditation a day is a huge help.  Lose yourself in the solitude of a cup of tea, a stroll through a garden, a reverential list of all that you are grateful for in your life.  Lose yourself in peaceful reflection, even if you have to schedule it into your day.  Set an alarm and a timer and just fucking do it.  The Hermit reversed is not kidding around here about how necessary this is.

On the complete other hand, The Hermit reversed could show up to say that you have overstayed your visit to solitude land.  Have you completely cut yourself off from your friends, family, and work because you are too lazy or selfish to help others, do your job, or be part of society? It’s time to get back in the game.  What synthesis are you avoiding? Don’t be afraid to fully confront why you have secluded yourself.  Be honest and open about what is holding you apart and see what it will take to get yourself back into society. Unless you are actually a Hermit seeking enlightenment or an secluded religious life, your life can not to be lived out in complete solitude.