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Tarot 101 – The Hermit: Unlocking Inner Wisdom


Welcome to our Tarot 101 series! In this ongoing exploration, we’ll delve into the profound world of tarot cards, dissecting their meanings, and providing insights into interpreting them. In this post, we’ll focus on a card that epitomizes introspection and soul-searching: the Hermit card. Within the Major Arcana, the Hermit stands as a solitary figure, inviting us to embark on a quest for inner wisdom and self-discovery.

We’ll unravel the symbolism and interpretations of the Hermit card, both in its upright and reversed positions, to guide you in navigating its rich tapestry of meanings. Join us as we delve into the world of the Hermit card and uncover the lessons it offers.

The Hermit Card Symbolism and Imagery:

The Hermit card presents us with an array of symbols, each holding profound significance. Let’s delve into the symbolism and imagery of the Hermit card:

  • The Hooded Figure: The Hermit is depicted as a cloaked figure holding a lantern and staff. The hooded attire signifies a withdrawal from the outside world, focusing instead on inner contemplation.
  • The Lantern: The lantern represents the Hermit’s inner light, symbolizing wisdom, truth, and guidance. It emphasizes the importance of seeking answers within.
  • The Staff: The staff, often used as support for the Hermit’s journey, signifies spiritual authority and mastery. It represents the inner strength that comes from deep self-reflection.
  • The Snowy Mountains: The mountains symbolize the challenges and obstacles faced in the pursuit of inner knowledge. Climbing these peaks is a metaphor for the effort required in seeking wisdom.
  • The Starry Night: The starry background suggests that the Hermit is guided by the wisdom of the cosmos, connecting the inner world with the vast universe.

The Hermit Card Meanings and interpretations

When the Hermit card appears upright in a tarot reading, it carries a distinct set of meanings and messages:

  • Introspection: The upright Hermit encourages self-reflection and introspection. It suggests a period when you seek answers within yourself, contemplating your life’s purpose, values, or spiritual beliefs.
  • Solitude: This card signifies a need for solitude to gain insights and recharge your spiritual energy. It’s a call to withdraw from the external world, allowing for meditation, journaling, or quiet contemplation.
  • Guidance and Wisdom: The Hermit embodies the archetype of the wise sage who has walked the path of self-discovery. It may indicate seeking the counsel of a spiritual mentor or elder who can provide guidance on your journey.
  • Inner Light: The Hermit’s lantern symbolizes the inner light of wisdom and enlightenment. It reminds you that the answers reside within you, urging you to follow your inner guidance even in the darkest times.
  • Patience: Recognize that insights may not come instantaneously. Patience is required as you explore your inner world, allowing wisdom to surface gradually.

In contrast, when the Hermit card appears in a reversed position, its meaning takes a different course:

  • Isolation: Reversed, the Hermit card may signify a reluctance to engage in self-discovery. You might be avoiding introspection or resisting the need for solitude, leading to feelings of isolation.
  • External Validation: Instead of relying on your inner wisdom, you may overly depend on external opinions and validation. This can hinder personal growth and self-discovery.
  • Dimmed Inner Light: The reversed Hermit may suggest a dimming of your inner light or a lack of clarity. You may feel lost in the darkness of confusion or uncertainty.
  • Fear of Change: It can indicate a fear of the unknown or resistance to change. You might be clinging to the familiar, avoiding the transformative journey that introspection can bring.
  • Spiritual Disconnect: In this position, the card may indicate a disconnection from your spiritual or philosophical beliefs. You might be neglecting your spiritual practices or feeling spiritually adrift.

Interpreting the Hermit Card in Readings and Spreads:

Now that we’ve explored the upright and reversed meanings of the Hermit card, let’s discuss how to interpret it in various types of readings and spreads:

  • Self-Discovery: In a personal growth or self-discovery reading, the upright Hermit encourages you to embrace introspection and explore your inner world. It suggests that now is an opportune time for self-reflection, meditation, or seeking guidance from a mentor or spiritual teacher.
  • Relationships: In a relationship reading, the Hermit card can signify a need for introspection within the relationship. It might suggest that both partners need space for self-discovery or that one partner needs to reflect on their own needs and values.
  • Career and Finances: In a career or financial reading, the Hermit card may indicate a need to step back and evaluate your goals and aspirations. It’s a reminder to consider whether your current path aligns with your inner values and purpose.
  • Spirituality: In a spiritual reading, the Hermit card, whether upright or reversed, underscores the importance of connecting with your inner spirituality. It may suggest a need to revisit your spiritual practices or seek guidance from a spiritual mentor.
  • Decision-Making: In a decision-making spread, the Hermit card may advise taking some time for introspection before making a significant choice. It encourages you to listen to your inner wisdom and align your decisions with your values.

Sample Spreads Featuring the Hermit Card:

Here are a few sample tarot spreads that prominently feature the Hermit card:

Self-Discovery Spread:

  • Hermit (center): Represents your current state of introspection and inner wisdom.
  • The Lantern (above the Hermit): Symbolizes your inner light and what insights it reveals.
  • The Path (below the Hermit): Indicates the direction your introspection should take.
  • The Guide (right of the Hermit): Represents a mentor or source of wisdom on your journey.
  • The Shadow (left of the Hermit): Reveals what you may be avoiding or resisting in your self-discovery.

Solitude and Connection Spread:

  • Upright Hermit (center): Signifies your willingness to embrace solitude and introspection.
  • Reversed Hermit (opposite the Upright Hermit): Represents any resistance to or fear of solitude.
  • Connection (above the Upright Hermit): Reflects how you connect with your inner self.
  • External Influence (above the Reversed Hermit): Reveals external factors affecting your introspection.
  • Balancing Act (below both Hermits): Offers guidance on finding a balance between solitude and social connection.

Inner Light Spread:

  • The Hermit’s Lantern (center): Represents your inner light and wisdom.
  • Past Reflections (left of the Lantern): Reveals past experiences that have shaped your inner wisdom.
  • Present Insights (right of the Lantern): Shows current insights or realizations.
  • Future Illumination (above the Lantern): Indicates how your inner light will guide your path.

Harnessing the Hermit’s Energy in Life:

The Hermit card, whether upright or reversed, offers valuable guidance for daily life.

  • Embrace Solitude: Dedicate moments of quietude for introspection and reflection. Find a peaceful space, away from distractions, to connect with your inner self. It’s in these serene moments that profound insights often arise.
  • Seek Wisdom: Whether through books, mentors, or personal experiences, actively seek wisdom and knowledge. Engaging in lifelong learning helps expand your understanding of both yourself and the world around you.
  • Trust Your Inner Voice: Cultivate trust in your intuition and inner guidance. Pay attention to gut feelings and inner wisdom when making decisions. The more you acknowledge and follow your inner voice, the clearer it becomes.
  • Practice Self-Care: Prioritize self-care routines that nurture your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Meditation, journaling, yoga, or nature walks can help you maintain a strong connection with your inner self.
  • Cultivate Patience: Understand that the journey of self-discovery is ongoing. Wisdom and insight often emerge gradually over time. Be patient with yourself and the process.


The Hermit card, whether appearing upright or reversed, serves as a beacon guiding us toward self-discovery and inner wisdom. By embracing moments of solitude, seeking wisdom, trusting our inner voice, practicing self-care, and cultivating patience, we unlock the lessons and insights offered by the Hermit card.

As you navigate your life’s journey, remember that the answers you seek often reside within. The Hermit card reminds us that the path to self-discovery is a transformative and enlightening one, encouraging us to embrace the wisdom that comes from within.

May your journey be filled with profound insights and a deep connection with your inner self, just as the Hermit’s lantern illuminates the path to wisdom in the darkest of nights.

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