Opportunity for Self Examination - Hermit Card
When we look at the VIIII Hermit tarot card, we feel the slow motion of the figure depicted in the card. From a reader's view, he is looking in the left direction indicating reflectiveness. He is old, walking with a staff and holding a lamp. He appears cautious in his walk and perhaps stops for a moment or more. The three lines on his forehead indicate he is thinking, contemplating, or looking for some truth. The lamp he holds is bright lighting his path. Where is his path going? Is he retreating or is he changing directions?
The elderly figure appears to be looking for a place to be quiet, in solitude to contemplate in search of truth. It reminds us of times when we intentionally seek quietness to think things through usually after a very energetic time. Perhaps we are looking for something such as an idea or trying to understand how we feel about something. It can be a time of spirituality i.e. time of lent where a person gives themselves time for prayer and fasting. It can also indicate the time to carefully search for a physical object or search for a way to solve a problem or find direction. On the other hand, this card may point out that we are isolating ourselves because of fear or shyness, or we are deliberately avoiding people or a situation. The Hermit can also describe a situation such as being a widow(er), on a mediation retreat, after an end of a relationship and we need time to ourselves, time to recover after an illness or shock, or in a situation of grieving and being unable to be around others.
Symbols from in the Hermit card:
Beard: a beard reminds us of an old and wise philosopher or sage.
Lantern: symbol of light and truth. "Shedding light on truth". In some religions, a lantern is a symbol of guidance and truth-seeking as it lights the path to living a true life, and knowledge.
Cape with hood: Privacy, conservation, security, and safeguard.
Staff: symbol of light and truth. "Shedding light on truth". In some religions, a lantern is a symbol of guidance and truth-seeking as it lights the path to living a true life, and knowledge. In medieval times it was known that the wise, the religious, and the philosophical carried a staff to walk long distances. The staff can also mean attempting the endeavor again after a little rest and contemplation.
Mountains: can represent the infinite universe and our place in it.
Ice (Rider-Waite): aloneness and seclusion.
Number 9: the result of multiplying 3, the magical number, by itself. Nine is a threshold number meaning that something will be revealed. Nine is a number that represents a time of a cycle ending and a new beginning of something unknown. The number nine has resonance for many; for instance: Pregnancy is nine months (three trimesters of three months each) and nine is the highest single-digit number and it represents endings and beginnings.
Ways to read the Hermit card:
When the seeker has questions regarding their work and career the Hermit card suggests that this is a time to do your work with focus and steadiness. The recognition will come. Colleagues and bosses will remember your attitude, patience, and focus. This is the time to stay focused especially if there are challenges in the workplace - you will come to a solution, but it is when you ask for help or for clarity from others around you - try being more of a team player. In a reversed card situation it is advised to connect with your colleagues and not to work too much in isolation.
The Hermit cautions the seeker about their finances. When the question is about money, Hermit's message is to be careful about taking risks. Now is not the time to gamble with your money. If you are investing, think secure and safe. If the seeker is confused about their finances, it's really time to seek financial counseling especially if this card is reversed. This is not necessarily bad news as it can be a perfect time to understand finances. It's a time to learn about how to invest, and how to save, but not a time for pouring money into risky schemes. It is a good idea to remind the seeker that if it sounds too good to be true, it is most likely too good to be true.
When it comes to questions about health, the Hermit's message is now is a good time to establish or re-establish good habits. Perhaps include meditation, exercise, and improved eating habits in daily life. A reversed Hermit card is a reminder that what you are doing is not serving your health very well. For instance: if you are trying to lose weight and it is not successful, reevaluate your diet. Sometimes physical pain manifests because we are burdened with too much responsibility, and stress and are too isolated. Seek healthy ways to connect with others, and ask for help.
When it comes to romantic relationships, the Hermit reminds us that we are lonely for a reason. What are we doing that is causing us to be so unconnected to others? It's time to learn healthy ways to connect with people. If we really want a relationship and it's not happening perhaps we need to change something in our behavior. Look inward and ask yourself what is it that you want in a relationship. In a reversed card situation, the Hermit warns that an old flame may reappear, and is this something we really want right now?
Generally, the Hermit can let us know that we have gone through a number of things and now it's okay to have some time in quiet to understand where our path is headed. We have gained knowledge, skill and wisdom. We now need to take our time to reflect, rest, meditate and decide what direction we now want to go. This is a good time to reset goals, but let's not stay in this state for too long.
Key Words: self-examination, quiet, contemplation, self-deprivation, focus, meditation, wisdom, truth-seeking, light
recovery, quandary, loneliness, isolation, retirement, therapy, counselling
Sources: Reading and Understanding the Marseilles Tarot by Anna Maria Morsucci and Antonella Aloi 2018 Lo Scarabeo The Marseille Tarot Revealed, A Complete Guide to Symbolism Meanings and Method by Yoav Ben-Doav 2017 Llewellyn Publications The Mythic Tarot, A New Approach to The Tarot Cards by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Greene 1988 edition Stoddart Publishing Co. Limited The Tarot and You, A Simple Guide to Using the Cards for Self-Discovery and Prophecy by Lindel Barker Revell,1995 Raincoast Book Distribution Ltd.