The Hermit has entered into a deep meditation deep in the woods. He is secluded and far from civilization, of which can no longer affect him by how far out he has gone. He goes inwards to become at peace with himself, for the chaos of others can cause a muddled head. He sits silently with his staff and egg, enwrapped by a serpent – symbols of the nurturing seed of his story that he is cultivating as he walks his path. He is approached by several energies, depicting that which seeks his illumination, and his wisdom.
The Hermit is a call to get out of the way of whatever situation or busy-ness that is going on in your life, seclude yourself from the outside world and cultivate your innerstanding through the power of meditation. You have everything you need within you, and within is where you must go in order to transcend whatever you may be facing in this moment. In this, he stands for illumination and the wisdom of the Heart.
The Hermit card is all about looking within, simultaneously with detachment from the noisy external environment. It’s a time of introspection, self-reflection and inner realization. It can be quite often that we cannot hear our own intuition because the noise and busyness of the external world, which clouds our inner voice. This card signifies the time to pause, retreat, and gaze into our souls to find the answers we are searching for; any answer we seek can certainly be found within ourselves.
This card shows Patch meditating on a rock in the middle of the woods. He has ventured deep into isolation away from the distant lights in the background so that he may better clearly hear his thoughts and tune into his feelings. The light of the moon shines deep reflective energy upon him, and he himself creates a sphere of isolation around his body; he cannot be disturbed.
The Hermit sits in deep meditation, a staff rests gently between his arms radiating with the light of the Sri Yantra. In his arms he also holds an egg enwrapped by a snake, an item of great significance to The Hermit. The egg is a symbol of the new consciousness which he nurtures and cares for, and the snake is the very flow of the energy in the universe itself, which brings nourishing life to and from the egg as needed.
Standing near The Hermit is also the three headed dog known as Cerberus, guardian of the underworld. He is a symbol and protector of the sacred gateway, who can sometimes be interpreted as violent, or at the very least very intense. The presence of Cerberus reminds us that we must face our own shadows if we are to fully dive deep into our being, and experience transcendental rebirth.
Along with Cerberus approaching The Hermit is the spermatozoon, a symbol of the young spark of male energy, ready to fertilize it’s next step on your journey. The spermatozoon can be interpreted in several ways, as a new required idea come to fertilize the mind of the hermit, or a young conscious seeker who has followed the light so that they too can begin their spiritual path. Both Cerberus and the spermatozoon are drawn to the hermits radiant light.
The Hermit is an invitation to travel deep within yourself if you are seeking answers. The external world can only show us so much. This is not the time to be with others, but with yourself in complete presence.
Take the time to meditate with the intention of going deep into your psyche, and keep traveling deeper! You may find aspects of your shadow self that will be uncomfortable at first and you may want to turn back. Keep digging, keep growing, and keep expanding within your emotional, mental and spiritual body.
The deeper you dive into the darkness, the more you emerge into light. When we fully understand something, it no longer poses any threat to us. It just IS. There is nothing to fear except fear itself.
“One step thou has gained on the long pathway upward, infinite now is the mountain of Light. Each step thou taketh but heightens the mountain; all of thy progress but lengthens the goal.”
The Hermit reversed is a hermit who has lost his light. He becomes lonely, cold, and bitter – numbed to the warmth of others; he sits in isolation and refuses to emerge from this place. From this withdrawn place, the hermit may never actually find the inner peace that he is looking for, and become jaded or self-absorbed in how he acts towards others.
What’s interesting about this reversal is that while normally The Hermit is attempting to go within and find himself, the reversed version doesn’t even listen to what is coming from within him. He is alone, and though he desires for companionship of any capacity, he refuses it outright.
To turn this reversed card upright, we must act gently towards ourselves and let go of any self imposed restrictions; for as with everything – a balance between yin and yang is fundamental. Just so as we need our alone time, so too do we equally need time with our friends and family. Get out in the world, go somewhere that you haven’t been before and strike up a conversation with a random stranger, or connect with an old friend. Human connection is what is called for here, and through this interconnection and shared compassion, your heart will open and you will feel lifted once again.
The Book of Thoth
The Golden Dawn
The Tarot Handbook